The richest members of Congress actually got even wealthier last year, even though 2009 saw one of the worst economic downturns in America since the Great Depression, according the The Hill, which released its annual ranking of lawmakers' estimated wealth.
Members of Congress are required to file financial disclosure forms each year, and often report finances in broad ranges. The Hill took the bottom number of each range reported, and incorporated the sums of their liabilities and assets to come up with each number.
The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth an estimated $1.4 billion in 2009 - about $85.1 million more than in 2008. The growth is due, in part, to the fact that the stock market actually rebounded last year, helping lawmakers who had large investments.
Three Republicans and seven Democrats made up the top 10 slots, which are nearly the same as the previous year. Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., topped the list for the second year in a row with a whopping estimated worth of $188.6 million. Congressman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, however, joined the list for the first time, replacing representative Harry Teague, D-N.M.
Here are the top ten, along with their estimated worth.
1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): $188.6 million
2. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.): $160.1 million
3. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.): $152.3 million
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-W.Va.): $83.7 million
5. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas): $73.8 million
6. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); $70.2 million
7. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): $56.5 million
8. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.): $53.5 million
9. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): $49.7 million
10. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.): $46.1 million