The chief inquisitor of President Obama's White House is now Congress's richest man.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) saw his fortune rise to at least $355 million in 2012, enough to take the crown on The Hill's 50 Wealthiest list.
Issa, who made his riches with the Viper car security system, snatched the No. 1 spot away from Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who came in second with a net worth of at least $101 million.
Thirty-seven of the lawmakers on the list are from the House, with the remaining 13 coming from the Senate.
While several high-profile lawmakers are among the wealthiest — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDem leaders give centrists space on Gorsuch The truth is the latest casualty of today’s brand of politics McCain and Graham: We won't back short-term government funding bill MORE (R-Ky.) — most of the leading contenders for the White House in 2016 missed the top 50.
Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanTop GOP senator rips Ryan for rejecting bipartisan outreach Ryan: Nunes source a ‘whistleblower type’ Ryan breaks with Trump on healthcare: No Dems MORE (R-Wis.), the GOP's vice presidential candidate in 2012, reported a minimum net worth of $2.3 million, while conservative star Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTexas Dem targets Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 What are 'religious liberty' bills really about? Fiorina calls for special prosecutor for Russia probe MORE (R-Texas) posted wealth of $1.5 million.
Two other rising GOP stars, Sens. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump: 'No doubt' we'll make a deal on healthcare Overnight Defense: General says US strike probably led to civilian deaths | Tillerson to push NATO on spending | Trump taps F-35 chief Senate backs Montenegro's NATO membership MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (Fla.), reported more modest financial means. While Paul's wealth stood at about $455,000, Rubio was in the red with a negative net worth of roughly $190,000.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerLive coverage: Senate intel holds first public Russia hearing Dem leaders give centrists space on Gorsuch Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators tout progress on Russia probe | Trump pressed to secure critical infrastructure | House beefs up cellphone security MORE (Va.) stood out among possible 2016 hopefuls with a minimum net worth of $88.5 million, good enough for third place on The Hill's list.
Two other Democrats in the 2016 discussion, Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Finance: Dems seek probe of acting SEC chief | Defense hawks say they won't back short-term funding | Senate seen as start point for Trump infrastructure plan | Dems want more money for IRS Senate Dems call for investigation of acting SEC chairman Petition calls for Melania Trump to move to White House or pay NY security costs MORE (Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandThe Hill’s Whip List: 32 Dems are against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Chelsea Clinton to be honored by Variety, Lifetime MORE (N.Y.), fell on opposite ends of the financial spectrum. While Warren reported a portfolio worth at least $3.9 million, Gillibrand was barely in the black with a net worth of $166,000.
The Hill's Wealthiest list bid farewell to some familiar faces this year.
John KerryJohn KerryFBI Director Comey sought to reveal Russian election meddling last summer: report Congress, Trump need a united front to face down Iran One year ago today we declared ISIS atrocities as genocide MORE — a perennial contender for richest lawmaker thanks to his wife's ties to the Heinz ketchup fortune — left the Senate this year to serve as President Obama's secretary of State.
Ex-Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and another regular on the list, decided to retire after last year's election.
And the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was the first full-time salesman for the payroll processing company Automatic Data Processing, died in 2013.
Taking their place are several lawmakers who are serving their first terms on Capitol Hill.
Among the new additions is Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), whose $15.2 million showing continues the tradition of having a wealthy member of the Kennedy clan in Congress.
Other first-timers include Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan DelBeneLawmakers team up with Mathletes and SXSW A guide to the committees: House 16 people to watch in tech MORE (D-Wash.), a former Microsoft executive with wealth of at least $23.9 million; Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a former businessman with $22.3 million; and Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a former tech entrepreneur with at least $9.2 million.
Other lawmakers earned a spot on the list after their assets climbed skyward.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) saw his share in Kentucky and Tennessee farmland and real estate spike, helping to give him a net worth of $8.2 million. Rep. John FlemingJohn FlemingCoast Guard suspends search for missing Ohio plane Freedom Caucus member to bring up bill on impeaching IRS chief GOP seeks to make it 52 MORE's (R-La.) wealth was $10.7 million in 2012 after his holdings in franchise development and properties soared in value.
But it's Issa who stands as king of Capitol Hill, thanks in no small part to the removal of $100 million in liabilities from his balance sheet on his 2012 form.
Issa listed several investment funds among his assets, including some that are worth more than $50 million each. He also has properties valued in the millions of dollars.
Before coming to Congress, Issa was a successful chief executive who founded Directed Electronics and served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association.
The runner-up on the list, McCaul, owes much of his wealth to family trusts. His wife, Linda, is the daughter of Clear Channel Communications founder Lowry Mays.
To come up with its rankings, The Hill used financial disclosure forms covering the 2012 calendar year. The reports are not perfect because they provide value ranges instead of exact figures.
The Hill adds up the low figures in each value range for every asset and liability. Then, the sum of a lawmaker's liabilities is deducted from the sum of his or her assets to calculate a minimum net worth.
Some lawmakers provide lengthy bank statements or investment reports with their annual financial statements. The Hill uses exact figures when possible.
The methodology is designed to provide a conservative estimate of a lawmaker's worth, and it's likely that many lawmakers, such as Issa and McCaul, are wealthier than their reports indicate.
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— Meredith Bentsen, Amrita Khalid, Mike Lillis, Tianna Mañón, Talia Mindich, Alex Resnak and Katie Tank contributed to this report.