Less Than Half the Member of Congress are Millionaires (But Not Too Much Less)

Less Than Half the Member of Congress are Millionaires (But Not Too Much Less)

These days, being a millionaire typically qualifies you as part of the one percent. But in Congress, it only makes you average.

About 47 percent of Congress, or 250* current members of Congress, are millionaires, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of lawmakers’ personal financial disclosure forms covering calendar year 2010. The Center’s analysis is based on the median values of lawmakers’ disclosed assets and liabilities.

That lofty financial status is enjoyed by only about one percent of Americans.

“The vast majority of members of Congress are quite comfortable, financially, while many of their own constituents suffer from economic hardships,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

“It’s no surprise that so many people grumble about lawmakers being out-of-touch,” Krumholz continued. “Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushion maintained by most members of Congress — or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal financial gains.”

On the whole, elected officials in the country’s upper chamber enjoy cushier bank accounts and portfolios than their counterparts in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2010, the year of the most recently released financial data, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.63 million*, according to the Center’s research.

Despite the global economic meltdown in 2008 and sluggish recovery, that’s up about 11 percent* from an estimated median net worth of about $2.38 million in 2009, according to the Center’s analysis. And it’s up about 16 percent* from a median estimated net worth of $2.27 million in 2008.

Economic well-being knows no partisan loyalty.

Fully 37* Senate Democrats and 30 Senate Republicans reported an average net worth in excess of $1 million in 2010, according to the Center’s analysis. The same was true of 110 House Republicans and 73 House Democrats.

The median estimated net worth among Senate Republicans was $2.43 million, and the median net worth among members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate was $2.69 million*, by the Center’s tally.

Meanwhile, in the House, the median estimated net worth of a GOP House member was $834,250 in 2010, according to the Center’s research, compared to a median net worth of $635,500 among House Democrats.

The median estimated net worth among House members, overall, stood at $756,765 in 2010. That’s up about 17 percent compared to the median net worth of $645,500 among House members in 2008, but down about 1 percent compared to 2009, when House members posted a median estimated net worth of $765,010, according to the Center’s analysis.

Read the rest at Open Secrets

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