Who are the richest members of Congress? The Hill newspaper, which covers the Capitol, just released its 2012 list, based on financial disclosure forms, using the low figures in a range for assets and liabilities if more exact financial statements are not available. Here are the top 30 of The Hill’s list — 23 men and 7 women, 15 Republicans and 15 Democrats, in descending order of wealth.
1. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., $355.4 million
The richest member of Congress is also its busiest watchdog. Issa made much of his money through the popular anti-car theft viper system and has much of his wealth in huge investment funds now.
2. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, $101.9 million
McCaul was listed as The Hill’s wealthiest lawmaker for 2010 and 2011 but his dropped to No. 2 after he chose to report he and his family’s holdings differently. His wife, Linda, is the daughter of the founder of radio behemoth Clear Channel Communications.
3. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., $88.5 million
The former Virginia governor made his pile by co-founding the company that became Nextel and has invested in tech startups since, as well as established Internet and software companies.
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., $83.8 million
The great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller got his wealth the old-fashioned way — he inherited it. Most of his reported wealth is in three different bank accounts, though he owns more than $1 million in stock in PepsiCo, where his wife, Sharon Percy Rockefeller (daughter of former Sen. Charles Percy of Illinois), sits on the board.
5. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., $76.6 million
Blumenthal married the daughter of a New York real estate magnate, elevating the worth of a man who has spent most of his career in public service. Their investments include trusts and investments in office buildings, apartments, warehouses and shopping centers.
6. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., $68.4 million
Delaney founded two publicly traded companies — HealthCare Financial Partners and CapitalSource Inc. About $25 million of his reported fortune is in CapitalSource stock and has several finance-industry investments, including Goldman Sachs.
7. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., $60.2 million
Polis helped move his family’s greeting card business online and launched ProFlowers.com. He lists a blind trust worth at least $25 million and investments in software and Internet companies.
8. Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., $44.7 million
Two factors play into Peters’ wealth: his move from the Environmental Protection Agency to an attorney representing business interests and government agencies, and his marriage to the CEO of a private equity firm founded by her father. The couple has oil interests in Argentina, aerospace and government bonds.
9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $41.6 million
The veteran senator owes much of her wealth to her husband, president and CEO of a private equity firm. They own a big stake in San Francisco’s Hotel Carlton and have a million-dollar condo in Hawaii.
10. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, $35.9 million
The certified public accountant founded a company that owns and operates nursing homes. Most of his assets of in funds investing in companies such as Apple, Costco, Google and Inuit.
11. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., $32.7 million
Car dealerships, stocks, bonds and real estate provide the bulk of Buchanan’s nest egg. In 2012, he mortgaged a home on the members-only Florida island of Useppa.
12. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, $31.5 million
Much of Pingree’s wealth comes from husband S. Donald Sussman, a Wall Street millionaire and philanthropist who also owns several Maine newspapers. Their assets include real estate, solar power, a sunscreen manufacturer and an organic milk producer.
13. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., $25 million
Nashville real estate and investments in Aegis, Dell, eBay, Google, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Target and Nestle make up the bulk of the wealth listed for Black and her husband.
14. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., $24.4 million
Pelosi’s husband has invested at least $10 million in two United Football League franchises, and the couple own a home and vineyard valued at at least $5 million. Her reported worth decreased about $2 million in 2012.
15. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., $23.9 million
Microsoft has been very very good to DelBene and her husband. She worked there for 12 years and he still does, and the couple has several big Microsoft assets. DelBene, through her husband, also participated in the company’s health plan last year.
16. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., $22.3 million
Collins lists 16 different companies where he is a director or partner. His big holdings include biotech and electric repair companies around Buffalo, N.Y., and a drug development company based in Auckland, New Zealand.
17. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., $20.9 million
His million-dollar holdings include Proctor & Gamble and IBM and he owns a rental home in Stockbridge, Mass.
18. Rep. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, $19.2 million
Much of his wealth comes from three investments in large tracts of ranch and farm land in his state.
19. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., $17.8 million
Miller founded a company that built houses and created planned communities. His listed investments included land in Rancho Cucamonga and Rialto, Calif.
20. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., $17.1 million
Pittenger’s pile comes from a company that invests in land in the Carolinas. The Hill says the congressman plans to donate his Capitol salary to charity, as he has done with the money from a pension he receives from North Carolina for his time as a state senator.
21. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., $16.7 million
Grayson’s fortune stems from IDT Corp., a telecommunications firm he founded in the early 1990s. His listed investments included pharmaceuticals, financial management and gold and minerals.
22. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., $16.7 million
Corker made his money in commercial real estate in Chattanooga and still has much of his fortune in rental real estate. He took a nearly $3 million hit last year, much of it from a UBS Bank account that lost most of its value.
23. Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., $15.2 million
Yes, a Kennedy is on this list. The affable freshman Congressman has much of his money in trusts, one of which has sizeable investments in General Electric, Google and Merck. Kennedy has listed three 2006 student loans for at least $80,000 among his liabilities.
24. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., $14.9 million
Much of McCaskill’s wealth comes from her husband, a St. Louis businessman who has invested In New Zealand, a Georgia-based affordable housing firm, cloud computing, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, Clorox and United Technologies.
25. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., $14.4 million
Hanna founded a construction company before politics. He has big investments in a money-market account, PepsiCo, Chevron and Verizon.
26. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., $14.2 million
The former North Dakota governor (and ex-director of the Bank of North Dakota) invests in companies such as Heinz, McDonald’s and Ralph Lauren.
27. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., $12.8 million
Lowey’s husband, chairman of a law firm, holds some of their bigger assets. They have their money in investment and retirement accounts and some property.
28. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., $12.6 million
A car dealership is a big part of Rigell’s portfolio, as are commercial real estate properties in Virginia Beach.
29. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., $12.5 million
Johnson lists at least $5 million with Charles Schwab and another $4.3 million in rental real estate in Wisconsin. He holds more than a $1 million stake in a polyester and plastics manufacturer of which he was CEO before politics.
30. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, $12.1 million
Harkin and his wife, Ruth, own a vacation home in the Bahamas worth at least $500,000,. His wife also has at least $3 million worth of holdings in ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 and United Technologies Corp.