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Meet Congress’s richest man

Anne Wernikoff

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is likely the richest member of Congress, according to an analysis by The Hill.

Issa, the former CEO of a car alarm company, had at least $392 million in financial assets at the end of 2013, according to a financial disclosure form he filed over the summer.

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Although the Republican’s net worth has fallen $38 million from 2012, Issa’s wealth remains a step above his peers. The lawmaker who comes closest, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), reported having more than $118 million in assets at the end of 2013.

Among the other richest members of Congress are Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who had a minimum net worth of $118.1 million, and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who had $93.4 million.

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

Issa made his fortune as the chief executive of Directed Electronics, which manufactures car alarms and other automotive products.

The disclosure forms filed by lawmakers do not provide a precise measurement of wealth: 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.

Among congressional leaders, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remains the richest, with a net worth of at least $24.45 million in the 2013 calendar year.

Among other high-level investments, the Pelosies have a home and vineyard in Napa, Calif., that’s worth more than $5 million. Her husband, Paul, has several real estate assets, including a $1 million investment in a hotel. He also has a $5 million to $25 million stake in the Sacramento Mountain Lions, a team in the United Football League.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is worth a minimum of about $12 million, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have at least a $2.9 million and $2.3 million net worth, respectively.

One of the new members of House leadership, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has personal loans, a revolving credit account and mortgages that put his minimum net worth in the red, at negative $671,000.

Scalise listed four assets worth anywhere from $1,001 to $15,000 — a Capital One bank account, stock in Cisco Systems and two retirement accounts. 

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