Top 10 Richest US Lawmakers | The Avvo NakedLaw Blog

Top 10 Richest US Lawmakers

July 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm  •  Posted in Politics by  •  22 Comments

Congressmen are always talking about representing the everyman. Whenever they go on the campaign trail, you see them patronizing small, locally-owned businesses, holding meetings with locals to discuss issues that are important to them, and pledging to give the little guy a voice while they serve in Congress.

It all sounds good, but can Congressmen who are millionaires really be in touch with the needs of the average person? When a senator can’t even remember how many houses he owns, can we really trust him to represent us accurately and make laws that are in our best interest? Is all hope lost when the President and leader of our country owns a multimillion dollar mansion?

Critics say this is a fundamental flaw of the American political system. The ultra wealthy simply spend however much money it takes to beat their opponent and basically buy the election. Then, they continue to get reelected at alarming rates once they’re in.

Facts about Rich Congressmen

Before we reveal the 10 richest members of Congress, here are a few statistics you might find interesting.

  • 8 of the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress are Democrats
  • 28 of the top 50 richest members of Congress are Democrats
  • 11 of the top 50 richest members of Congress are freshman members
  • About two-thirds of US senators are millionaires

Who’s the Richest?

  1. Sen. John Kerry (D)—The former Presidential candidate leads all members of Congress with a net worth of $167.55 million. He has dozens of million dollar assets, and the bulk of his wealth actually comes from his wife’s money.
  2. Rep. Darrell Issa (R)—Despite the recession, the California lawmaker has continued to increase his net worth to $164.70 million. He founded Directed Electronics, a car alarm manufacturer, and he has other valuable investments.
  3. Rep. Jane Harman (D)—This California Democrat has holdings in Harmon International Industries, an audio products company. In 2008, she reported a more than 50% decline in her minimum net worth, but she’s still worth $112.13 million.
  4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D)—When you hear the Rockefeller name, you immediately associate it with wealth. This West Virginia Senator is currently worth at least $80.45 million.
  5. Sen. Mark Warner (D)—Warner is the richest of the 11 freshman lawmakers. He was the co-founder of Nextel telecommunications, making him incredibly rich. His minimum net worth is estimated at $72.37 million.
  6. Rep. Jarred Polis (D)—Polis is a serial entrepreneur. He first founded American Information Systems, and later sold it for more than $20 million. He then grew his family’s greeting card business, and that sold for $780 million. After that, he founded and sold it for $477 million. His net worth is estimated currently at $71 million.
  7. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R)—Buchanan has many assets, including real estate, car dealerships, and investment accounts, making his net worth $49.79 million. The Florida Congressman has reported a sharp decline in net worth during the recession.
  8. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D)—Lautenberg became rich from a payroll processing company he founded back in 1952. He maintains three blind trusts, and his total minimum net worth is $48.38 million.
  9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)—The California Senator has an impressive portfolio that includes multiple trusts, real estate, and various partnerships. Her minimum net worth is estimated to be $42.94 million.
  10. Rep. Harry Teague (D)—Another rookie lawmaker, Teague earned his wealth by founding an oil services firm, Teaco Energy Services. His net worth is $40.63 million.



  1. forerunner8 / September 1, 2012 at 9:37 am / Reply

    8 of the top 10 richest politicians are democrats and supposedly they are the ones who “feel” for the working man. Could this have been just a political ploy to get votes?

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  11. J.UK / December 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm / Reply

    doesn’t matter they are all rich and crooked anyway, as they are in the UK. You should stop talking about the money and start talking about getting a new voting/political system not a redundant 300 year old system for a population of a cfouple million rather then 250-300 million.

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  14. Karen / October 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm / Reply

    And here I am retired and trying to live on $15,300 per year Social Security. No increases for the seniors in 2010 or 2011, We have to pay for all the computer equipment for the senators & congress at $24,000,000 for the new Health plan, made up by the wealthy. We paved the way for these jackasses, and we are now kicked to the curb. This is a shame……

  15. Bob / October 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm / Reply

    And we are told the Republicans are the representatives of the wealthy? Eight out of ten wealthiest in congress are democrats! Tell you sometthing. Republicans are the representatives of the working class because they have to work for a living, not born with a silver spoon in their mouth!

    • Walt G. / October 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm / Reply


      • JRL / November 6, 2010 at 2:12 pm / Reply

        Walt would you care to expand on that idiotic notion? Look at the source of wealth with a keen eye assuming you can see through the liberal smoke screen. How many of the wealthy gained their wealth through say oil or energy (both of which are thorns in the left).

        Walt sadly you have been hoodwinked by the class warfare BS that is constantly spewed out of the liberals mouth.

        Next thing I know you will be blaming Bush for the high cost of oil and gasoline – please get a clue before you vote.

      • Bill / October 24, 2011 at 6:19 am / Reply

        Walt, you poor simpleton. Democrat leaders only care about preserving their generational wealth while making serfs out of people like you. Republican leaders earn their money, Democrat leaders inherit it (along with a lot of guilt about doing nothing to obtain it)

    • Mark Shoenfelt / November 16, 2010 at 1:15 am / Reply

      Actions speak louder than words. The presidents of which party have shown by their recent actions after leaving office that they are champions of the poor and middle class? If you guessed the Democratic party, you are a winner. Bill Clinton (notably, but not exclusively, the Clinton Foundation) and Jimmy Carter (notably, but not exclusively, Habitat for Humanity) have devoted their lives after leaving the Presidency to trying to improve the conditions of the poor and middle classes. The Bushes lent their names to efforts headed by Clinton to help victims of Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. Nixon did nothing.
      In difficult times patriotic Americans used to always sacrifice for the common good. Then came George W. Bush, who gave a huge tax cut to the wealthiest Americans in war time. There had never been a tax cut in war time before. Although there were other factors, the tax cuts contributed to the economic downturn; and the Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to keep those tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the only group that saw its income rise during the Bush administration, even if it means that the tax cuts for the middle and lower classes could end if they don’t get the cuts for the rich.
      Republicans are excellent at running for office by appealing to the people whose interests they will immediately vote against. They use issues (family values, anti-gay rights, abortion etc.) about which they have little interest in order to get elected, then they “govern” catering to the wishes of the super wealthy.
      There is one party that represents the middle class and the poor. IT IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

    • Sally / December 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm / Reply

      The democrats share their wealth and the greedy, selfish republicans hoard theirs. Wake up.

      • Dan O / January 2, 2011 at 4:30 am / Reply

        Conservatives have been shown to give more than Liberals to charity by numerous studies and reports. Here is a example of a mainstream media study in an article from abc news.

        Sally just because you wish it to be true does not make it so.

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