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News Link • Corruption

Congress' Median Household Net Worth: One Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

• & opensecrets
By law, members of Congress are only required to report their wealth and liabilities in broad ranges. It’s therefore impossible to precisely determine how much value their assets are worth, or have gained or lost. Federal law also requires that members of Congress detail any assets owned or debts owed by their spouses and dependent children. The Center for Responsive Politics determines the minimum and maximum possible asset values for each member of Congress to calculate a member's average estimated wealth. Sometimes, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars separate a lawmaker’s minimum calculated wealth from his or her maximum calculated wealth. When averaging lawmakers’ minimum and maximum potential wealth for 2009, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) tops the list with holdings exceeding $303.5 million. Issa (pictured right) is followed by a fellow Californian, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), with $293.4 million. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) places third at $238.8 million. Issa, Harman and Kerry realized wealth gains of nearly 21 percent, 19.8 percent and 14.3 percent respectively.

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