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House of Millionaires: Most Hill lawmakers worth $1M-plus, report finds

Capitol building_Reuters_660.jpg

A view of the Capitol Building in Washington Oct. 15, 2013.(Reuters)

Congress is making history, sort of. For the first time, most congressional lawmakers are worth $1 million or more.

The Center for Responsive Politics analyzed the personal financial disclosure data filed in 2012 by all 534 current members of Congress and found just over half -- at least 268, to be exact -- had an average net worth of $1 million or more.  

The 2012 figure is up from 2011, when 257 members had a median net worth of at least $1 million.

The numbers further demonstrate how, despite lawmakers' emphasis on middle-class jobs and economic issues, most are not facing the kinds of financial struggles that exist for their constituents. 

Analysis of the numbers by the Center for Responsive Politics showed congressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million; for Republicans, that number was almost exactly $1 million.

Breaking down the figures for House representatives, the median net worth was $896,000, up from $856,000 in 2011.  The median net worth for House Democrats was higher than that of Republicans, $929,000 to $884,000. 

As for the Senate, the median net worth was $2.7 million, up from $2.5 million a year earlier. But in the Senate, Republicans were worth more. They had a median net worth of $2.9 million, compared with $1.7 million for Senate Democrats. 

Curious who is the richest member of Congress?  That title goes to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who amassed his wealth from a car alarm business. He had a net worth of roughly $464 million in 2012. The least wealthy member of Congress was Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., with a reported negative net worth of $12.1 million in 2012.

Click for more from OpenSecrets.org