Down $38M, but he's likely still the richest lawmaker in Congress

The leader of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee remains, in all likelihood, the richest member of Congress.

Though he saw his minimum net worth fall more than $38 million in 2012, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), still had at least $392 million in assets, according to federal disclosure forms.

Issa acknowledges taking out more than $75 million in personal loans in 2011, however, bringing down his overall wealth to about $317.3 million. Forms released last year had put that figure at a minimum of $355.4 million for 2012.

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Though a handful of Congress’s top earners asked for extensions on financial disclosure forms revealing their wealth, there is a large gulf between the richest and the rest.

In 2012, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) — the second wealthiest lawmaker — had a minimum net worth of nearly $102 million, or more than $250 million less than Issa.

The wealth of many rich members can fluctuate, however, and McCaul’s coffers had seen better days. In 2011, for instance, he sat atop the list of wealthy congressional lawmakers, with a net worth of at least $290.5 million. McCaul’s form, like many others, is slated to come in later this month.

Most of Issa’s wealth is held in investment accounts. The 60-year-old lawmaker had six assets worth more than $50 million a piece — down from seven in 2012 — and 11 assets worth at least $5 million each.

Before entering Congress, he was the chief executive of Directed Electronics, which manufacturers car alarms and other automotive products.

The disclosure forms filed by lawmakers do not provide a precise measurement of wealth, as lawmakers can report the value of their investments, bank accounts and loans in vast ranges. One category that lawmakers can mark, for instance, ranges from $5 million to $25 million.