The 10 Poorest Members Of Congress – And What Happened To Their Money

By on May 23, 2015 in ArticlesHow Much Does

Most members of Congress are doing just fine financially, even without their $174,000 salary. Actually, with benefits, that amount climbs to $285,000, making many of D.C.'s power players part of the top 5 percent of paid workers in the United States. We took a look at the 10 Richest Members of Congress, all of whom have a personal net worth most of us can only dream about. However, at the other end of the spectrum are 10 members of Congress who've had more than their fair share of financial woes. The following 10 politicians are the poorest members of the House and Senate. Despite their $285,000 salary, each of these politicians has a negative net worth, as a result of money they owe in mortgages, political ventures, and other expenses. This year's list of the poorest members of Congress contains one majority whip, one party chairman, one formerly impeached judge and one senator. Let's take a look at the 10 Poorest Members of Congress.

10. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA

Net worth: -$671,000

Representative Scalise is the House majority whip with a swanky office in the Capitol, but his personal finances aren't looking quite so good. He reported $4,000 in assets and $675,000 in liabilities from two mortgages.

9. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-PA

Net worth: -$700,000

Representative Fattah reported $100,000 in assets from his wife's investment in General Electric and more than $800,000 in liabilities from several mortgages.

8. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM

Net worth: -$722,000

Heinrich is the only senator on the list and he reports $128,000 in assets against more than $850,000 in liabilities. All of his liabilities are mortgages.

7. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-IL

Net worth: -$780,000

Representative Quigley lists $80,000 in credit card debt as well as two mortgages as his liabilities.

6. Rep. Emanel Cleaver II, D-MO

Net worth: -$848,000

Representative Cleaver's business loan from Bank of America in excess of $1 million is responsible for dragging down the net worth of this Methodist minister. He also has a mortgage and another bank loan.

5. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA

Net worth: -$924,000

Rep. Rohrabacher makes this list with an asterisk next to his name. His biggest liability—a mortgage exceeding $500,000–was paid off in 2013. However, Federal reporting rules still required him to list that mortgage under his liabilities. Rohrabacher's biggest asset is an investment in ISI Life Sciences Inc. for more than $100,000.

4. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-CA

Net worth: -$943,000

Representative McKeon has two over $500,000 mortgages and a personal loan of $10,000 that he has had for more than 10 years.

3. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL

Net worth: -$972,000

Representative Wasserman Schultz is the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She is also drowning in debt. She has two mortgages on two homes, a home equity line of credit of more than $250,000, credit card debt exceeding $15,000, and a personal loan of more than $100,000.

2. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL

Net worth: -$2.23 million

Representative Hastings is still paying off the legal debts from his impeachment as a federal judge in the 1980s and lists a single bank account reported as containing "more than $1,000" as his only asset. He also has a mortgage that is rated as a liability against his net worth.

1. Rep. David Valadao, R-CA

Net worth: -$3.7 million

Representative Valadao's net worth is somewhat of a mystery. He is a dairy farmer by trade and his interest in one dairy farm is worth between $1 and $5 million, and in another farm worth between $500,001 to $1 million. (Congressional financial disclosures are reported in a broad range.) Five separate mortgages – each over $1 million – drag his net worth down.

David Valadao

David Valadao

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for She attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Creative Writing. An avid long distance runner, weekends she can be found running the streets of Los Angeles training for 1/2 and full marathons. Follow her on Facebook.
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