By Kevin Bogardus and Megan R. Wilson - 05/22/13 05:00 PM EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) saw an increase in his net worth last year, but not enough to get him out of the red, according to a disclosure form released Wednesday.
Rubio, who is seen as a likely contender for the presidency in 2016, reported a negative minimum net worth of about $190,000 on his financial disclosure statement for 2012. That’s an improvement from 2011, when he reported a negative net worth of $422,000, party due to home-related mortgages and loans.
Last year, the senator appears to have boosted his financial fortunes by paying off student loan debt. While Rubio reported an active student loan from Sallie Mae valued at $100,000 in 2011, that loan is absent from his 2012 form.
Among his assets on his 2012 form, Rubio listed several joint Citibank accounts held with his wife, college plans as well as a rental property in Tallahassee, Fla., worth at least $100,000.
The Hill’s annual list of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers is based on the information that lawmakers provide in the yearly disclosure forms.
While Rubio’s negative net worth puts him nowhere near the list of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers, other members of the Senate have sizable personal fortunes.
Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another potential presidential candidate in 2016, reported a net worth of $1.5 million for 2012.
A Tea Party favorite, Cruz disclosed the exact salary he earned last year while working at the Houston office for law giant Morgan, Lewis & Bockius: $1,019,351. His wife took a salary from Goldman Sachs valued at more than $1,000.
Cruz included a loan to his 2012 Senate campaign among his assets, worth at least $500,000. He also reported a few liabilities, including a Citibank line of credit valued at $100,000.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) saw little change in his personal wealth.
For 2012, Reid reported he was worth $2.6 million, the same amount he reported for 2011.
Reid included two liabilities on his 2012 report, both worth $100,000 each — a mortgage on a residence in Searchlight, Nev., as well as a personal credit line with Wells Fargo. Among his assets, Reid included some mining claims in Searchlight as well as some land in Arizona and Utah.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been embroiled in controversy, also saw little change in his wealth.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman reported a net worth of $316,000 for 2012. That includes a rental property in Union City, N.J., worth at least $250,000.
Menendez is battling allegations that he helped Salomon Melgen, a campaign donor and longtime friend, secure a government contract. The FBI raided Melgen’s Florida business this year, and the senator has paid Melgen $58,000 to reimburse him for two trips he took on his private plane.
Menendez has denied any wrongdoing and says the allegations are false.
Others in the Senate continued to prosper last year.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) remains one of the richest members of Congress, having reported a net worth of $9.2 million for 2012, according to his disclosure form.
That’s a slight uptick from his wealth the prior year. The Senate minority leader was worth at least $8.9 million in 2011.
The Kentucky Republican listed several IRAs on his form, some worth at least $15,000 each. McConnell’s biggest asset is a joint Vanguard tax-exempt money market fund, worth at least $5 million, that he owns with his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
In 2012, Chao also picked up several fees from Fox News, Dole Food Company and Wells Fargo & Company, along with a salary from the Heritage Foundation. In addition, Chao earned speaking fees from the Food Marketing Institute and Yale University.
Under disclosure requirements for spouses, McConnell is only required to report that his spouse earned “over $1,000” for her work.
The disclosure reports can only give an estimate of a lawmaker’s wealth. They do not give exact values for lawmakers’ assets and liabilities, but provide value ranges instead.
To calculate lawmakers’ wealth, The Hill uses the low number in each value range of their assets and liabilities. The sum of their liabilities is then subtracted from the sum of their assets to arrive at a lawmaker’s minimum net worth.
Like they did for the first time last year, lawmakers have to disclose the mortgages on personal residences under the STOCK Act. That can drag down their net worth when compared to prior years.
The reports were due on May 15 and are made available to the public within 30 days. House financial disclosure statements have not yet been released.
More than a dozen of the upper chamber’s lawmakers have requested extensions and will be filing their statements later this year, such as Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) among others.