The two new key Republican House leaders are representative of the broader nation in one regard: They owe money.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, promoted from whip to House majority leader-elect replacing Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) following his stinging primary defeat, has at least $76,000 in assets and $100,000 in liabilities, according to disclosure reports from the House’s Office of the Clerk. Most of his debt comes from a home mortgage in California.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, 48, elected House majority whip last week, has as much as $60,000 in assets and $65,000 in liabilities, including a $15,000 personal loan and $10,000 in credit card debt.
Unlike 49-year-old McCarthy, whose estimated total wealth has reached nearly $300,000 in recent years as he pulls in dividends from various investment portfolios (pdf), Scalise’s net worth has dipped to as low as nearly $61,000 in the red and his liabilities have topped $660,000 in recent years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Both men are worth considerably less than the typical House member, whose median net worth fluctuates between $600,000 and $700,000 in recent years.
Cantor, 51, leaves his position with a net worth estimated to be as high as $14.2 million coming from a long list of investments (pdf). His income can more than make up for his roughly $2 million in liabilities. Cantor was brutally routed by tea party challenger Dave Brat earlier this month. Brat’s personal financials aren’t available yet, but he ran his winning campaign with small-business donations. His largest donation was from Gerry and Karen Baugh, owners of Baugh Auto Body of Richmond, Virginia, who gave $5,400.
Cantor’s top contributor: New York-based private equity investment bank The Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX).
Brat defeated Cantor with $122,000; Cantor spent over $5 million.