The United States House Committee on Ethics is charged with the mandate of upholding the highest standard of ethics and integrity among the members of Congress. One of the ways they do this is by requiring the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, also referred to as Congressmen, to each year file a Financial Disclosure Statement. On this disclosure form, congressmen list the assets that they own, such as real estate, stocks, and even bank accounts, as well as what those assets are worth. They also disclose their various outstanding debts and what they made from their various outside income sources, which normally include book royalties, dividends, and income from rental property.

Rather than listing the exact values of each asset and liability on the Financial Disclosure Statement, current regulations only require that values be reported in a broad range. For example, if a congressman owns a $6 million property he or she would report a value of “$5,000,001 - $25,000,000.” Further, the highest range that can be reported is “over $50 million,” regardless of if that value is $51 million or $200 million. During the 2016 U.S. Presidential election cycle, the Trump campaign criticized this $50 million maximum by saying that, “[t]his [financial disclosure] report was not designed for a man of Mr. Trump's massive wealth.” Since congressmen report ranges, rather than exact figures, it can be tough to determine a congressman’s precise net worth. However, it is very possible to get a good idea of what each member’s financial position looks like. Below we will look at seven of the wealthiest congressmen in the United States, according to the 2014 filings.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R)

California’s Congressman Darrel Issa is by the far the richest serving member of the House of Representatives. At the time of writing, the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington D.C.-based independent political research organization, estimated that the congressman’s personal fortune was worth a little more than $436.5 million. He made the vast majority of his wealth from, Directed Electronics, a car alarm and accessories manufacturing company that he founded in 1982. The company generated $14 million in sales by its seventh year of operations and reportedly realized roughly $220 million in sales in 2011. Congressman Issa’s investment portfolio also includes interest in a number of bond funds and collection of various rental properties. (For related reading, see: 5 Wealthiest U.S. Presidents.)

Congressman Jared Polis (D)

At the age of 40, Jared Polis of Colorado is the second-richest person in the Congress with an estimated net worth of $387.8 million. He made his multimillion dollar fortune by starting and selling a handful of businesses. The congressman’s first business venture, American Information Systems, was started while he was studying politics at Princeton University. The company operated as an internet service provider and was sold in 1998. He subsequently founded and sold an online greeting card company for $780 million in 1999, and he also sold an online flower shop he launched for $477 million in 2006. Like Congressman Issa, Congressman Polis is heavily invested in real estate and a number of properties. He also holds ownership in a handful of privately held companies.

Congressman John K Delaney (D)

By the time John Delaney had turned 40-years-old, he had already founded two companies that eventually were listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). His first company, Health Care Financial Partners, was founded in 1996, and it provided loans to small healthcare companies that had problems with getting financing. While CapitalSource, his second company that he started in 2000, issued loans to businesses of all sizes. Congressman Delaney’s financial disclosure statement for the year 2014 revealed that he has anywhere between $25 million to $50 million in PacWest Bancorp (PACW) stock. His other equity investments include $6 million to $26 million in two hedge funds and $1 million to $5 million in a Vanguard Index Fund ETF.

Congressman Michael McCaul (D)

The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that Congressman McCaul has a net worth of $160.3 million. This makes him America’s fourth-richest congressman. The majority of his fortune is actually held in a trust that is for the benefit of his wife, who happens to come from a wealthy family. The assets in the trust include several family partnerships and hundreds of different stocks. (For related reading, see: The World's Top Billionaires Under Age 35.)

Congressman Dave Trott (R)

Congressman Dave Trott began his term as a house representatives for the State of Michigan in January 2015. He has worked as a foreclosure and bankruptcy lawyer and has owned a number of different enterprises during his career. His net worth is estimated to be $113 million.

Congressman Vernon Buchanan (R)

Florida's Vernon Buchanan is another congressman whose entrepreneurial endeavors made him extremely wealthy. In 1996, the future congressman, along with a friend, founded a successful printing company called American Speedy Printing, which eventually had over 730 franchise locations across America. At one point he had also owned a collection of automobile dealerships in Florida, in addition to two offshore insurance companies. His financial disclosure statement for 2014 revealed that he owned just under 200 assets that were together worth somewhere between $74 million to $253 million. These assets include private aircraft, over two dozen mutual funds, and substantial real estate holdings.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D)

In addition to being one of the most recognizable American legislators, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is also the seventh wealthiest member of the House of Representatives. She and her husband, Paul Francis Pelosi, have a personal net worth of a little more than $100 million. Most of that money was generated by her firm, Financial Leasing Services, Inc., a California-based venture capital firm owned by the couple. Among her investments are various commercial properties valued between $6 million to $30 million, and million dollar stakes in several private businesses and partnerships. (See also: A Look at Hillary Clinton's Economic Policies.)

The Bottom Line

According to the most recently filed Financial Disclosure Statements by members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the seven richest congressmen are collectively worth at least $1.1 billion dollars, and each of them has an estimated net worth of at least $100 million. Four of which are Democrats, while the other three are affiliated with the Republican party. Their investment holdings include interests in limited partnerships, privately held companies, hedge funds and rental property. As of April 11, 2016, Congressman Darrell Issa of California was the wealthiest member of Congress with an estimated personal fortune of more than $400 million. He has been serving since 2001 and created his wealth as a result of making a series of successful investments.

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