Top Ten Wealthiest Members of U.S. Congress

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  • Dianne Feinstein
    Feinstein is the only woman to make the top ten. She and her husband hold a sizable share in San Francisco's Carlton Hotel and report returns in various other investments, according to Roll Call. Reuters
  • Richard Blumenthal
    Blumenthal holds a stake in Merrifield Apartments Co., which owns properties in Connecticut and Virginia. However, much of his wealth stems from his in-law's investments in Empire State Building Associates. Reuters
  •  Frank Lautenberg
    Lautenberg is the founder of ADP, a human resources management firm. He also holds two blind trusts, totaling around $6 million to $30 million. Much of his wealth is the result of his wife, Bonnie's, investments. Reuters
  • Mark Warner
    Warner co-founded Nextel, the telecom company, and holds shares in Columbia Capital Equity Partners, a Virginia investment firm. Reuters
  • Jay Rockefeller
    Rockefeller, the great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, inherited most of his wealth. Reuters
  • John Kerry
    Once a presidential hopeful, Kerry's wealth comes from his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, who inherited her family's ketchup fortune. Reuters
  •  Darrell Issa
    Issa founded Directed Electronics, a car alarm manufacturing company. He also has wealth invested in DEI LLC and Greene Properties Inc., both property management firms. Reuters
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The baseline congressional salary is $174,000 per year, or three and a half times the national median household income in 2010.  Some members of the legislative branch earn even more: the Speaker of the House rakes in $223,500 for example.  If the many benefits and perks our lawmakers enjoy are accounted for, the numbers rise again.

But don't think that all of our lawmakers are just squeezing by on a measly $14,500 per month; far from it.  The extreme wealth of some members make their official salaries look like a pittance. 

A recent New York Times study even shows that as the American public suffered an 8 percent decrease in their combined net worth from 2004 to 2010, our lawmakers' wealth rose by 15 percent in the same period. 

It's not a bad time to be in Congress, especially for these ten wealthiest legislators.

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