The People's House? Millionaires Make Up Half of Congress, Review Finds - NBC Chicago

The People's House? Millionaires Make Up Half of Congress, Review Finds

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Spend Memorial Day Weekend at The St. Charles Fine Art Show
    Getty Images
    WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 14: The early morning sun begins to rise over the U.S. Capitol building October 14, 2008 in Washington DC. Earlier today President Bush met with the President's Working Group on Financial Markets at the White House. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    Congress is getting richer and seeing its number of millionaire members grow, as average Americans continue to struggle to recover from years of economic distress, according to a new report.

    The median net worth of a member of Congress hit nearly $1.03 million by the end of 2013, an analysis of financial disclosure forms by the Center for Responsive Politics found. That figure, up 2.5 percent fron the previous year, makes the body's average elected representative 18 times richer than the average American household, which one recent study found was worth about $56,000 the same year.

    In all, Center for Responsive Politics identified 271 millionaires elected to federal office— about half the total membership of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. That's up slighly from the year before, when the group counted  at least 268 millionaires.

     “At a time when income inequality is much debated, the representatives we choose are overwhelmingly affluent,” CRP’s Executive Director Sheila Krumholz said in a statement. “Whether voters elect them because they are successful or because people of modest means do not run, or for other reasons, is unclear, but struggling Americans should not assume that their elected officials understand their circumstances.“

    The Senate is the wealthier of the two bodies, with a median net worth of $2.97 million compared to the House of Representatives' $843,000.

    GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California led both houses with an estimated net worth of $448.4 million. At $254 million, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., was the wealthiest senator, the group found.

    Not all members boast anywhere close to those nine-figure sums, though. About two dozen members, including Rep. David Valadao, a Republican from California who was named Congress' least wealthy member, reported being in the red.

    Click here to read the full report.