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The Richest Members of the US Congress 2011

The Richest Members of Congress
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Recently, the Capitol Hill publication analyzed the financial assets of U.S. lawmakers, contained in mandatory annual disclosures, to determine the members of the US Congress that have the highest approximate net worth. Although these Congressional disclosures are not exact — they are displayed in a range of estimated value over broad categories — Roll Call, a Capitol Hill news and information provider, analyzed the assets and liabilities of every US representative and senator to come up with th
Source: Roll Call || Photo: Jeff Spielman | Getty Images

Recently, Roll Call analyzed the financial assets of U.S. lawmakers, contained in mandatory annual disclosures, to determine the members of the U.S. Congress that have the highest approximate net worth.

Although these Congressional disclosures are not exact—they are displayed in a range of estimated value over broad categories—Roll Call, a Capitol Hill news and information provider, analyzed the assets and liabilities of every U.S. representative and senator to come up with the 50 richest members of Congress. The 15 richest members are presented here.

Because assets are listed over wide ranges, such as “between $5 million and $25 million,” minimum net worth gives an idea of the lowest possible value of real assets, while actual net worth, in most cases, is likely much higher.

Assets may include non-government income, asset transactions, spouse's income, gifts, and more. Listing of non-income generating property (including a primary residence) is not required under disclosure rules. Assets listed were held by members of Congress in 2010.

So, who are the richest members of the U.S. Congress this year? Click ahead to find out!

Posted 13 Sept 2011

15. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R.-N.J.)
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Minimum net worth: $20.35 million Change from last year: +2.3% The New Jersey lawmaker’s fortunes remained relatively stable in 2010, increasing slightly more than 2 percent. About a third of Frelinghuysen’s wealth stemmed from multiple investments in Procter & Gamble stock. He owned $1 million to $5 million in the company and reported two additional investments held in family trusts. The larger of those two holdings was worth $5 million to $25 million. The lawmaker’s father, the late Rep. Peter
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Scott J. Ferrell | Congressional Quarterly | Getty Images 

Minimum net worth: $20.35 million
Change from last year: +2.3%

The New Jersey lawmaker’s fortunes remained relatively stable in 2010, increasing slightly more than 2 percent.

About a third of Frelinghuysen’s wealth stemmed from multiple investments in Procter & Gamble stock. He owned $1 million to $5 million in the company and reported two additional investments held in family trusts. The larger of those two holdings was worth $5 million to $25 million.

The lawmaker’s father, the late Rep. Peter Frelinghuysen (R.-N.J.), was married to Beatrice Sterling Procter, a descendant of one of Procter & Gamble’s founders, The New York Times reported in a May obituary.

Frelinghuysen also added to his real estate portfolio, reporting a one-fifth interest in a Stockbridge, Mass., rental home valued at $100,000 to $250,000. The property produced no income in 2010. He also owned nearly 18 acres of undeveloped land in Frelinghuysen Township, N.J., valued at a minimum of $250,000 and a one-fifth interest in about 236 undeveloped acres in Stockbridge, Mass., valued at a minimum of $100,000.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

14. Sen. Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.)
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Minimum net worth: $21.18 million Change from last year: +15.9% Corker added $1 million in new debts in 2010, but he still managed to boost his bottom line by almost $3 million. The Tennessean’s wealth is largely concentrated in real estate, including a Maryville, Tenn., shopping center and Chattanooga, Tenn., office buildings, both valued at $5 million to $25 million. His two dependent children also owned shares in his office building partnership, each valued at “over $1 million.” Corker also a
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $21.18 million
Change from last year: +15.9%

Corker added $1 million in new debts in 2010, but he still managed to boost his bottom line by almost $3 million.

The Tennessean’s wealth is largely concentrated in real estate, including a Maryville, Tenn., shopping center and Chattanooga, Tenn., office buildings, both valued at $5 million to $25 million. His two dependent children also owned shares in his office building partnership, each valued at “over $1 million.”

Corker also added a new investment in a Dow Jones Industrial Average index fund, valued at $5 million to $25 million.

But the Senator also dropped two loans worth a minimum of $1 million to the Julia Corker and Emily Corker trusts. He had listed both as assets.

Corker continued to hold promissory notes from his dependent children to himself, each valued simply at “over $1 million.”

Corker also added new debt of at least $1 million, listing two margin loans held by his dependent children worth $500,000 to $1 million each.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

13. Rep. Rick Berg (R.-N.D.)
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Minimum net worth: $21.60 millionChange from last year: N/A After failing to land a Member on the 50 richest Members list since Roll Call began its survey in 1990, North Dakota fills two places this year with Berg and Sen. John Hoeven (R). Berg reported heavy investments in real estate, including apartment buildings and commercial properties. Among his major assets were five commercial or apartment buildings in Fargo, N.D., and West Fargo, N.D., valued at $1 million to $5 million apiece. While t
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Scott J. Ferrell | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $21.60 million
Change from last year: N/A

After failing to land a resident on the 50 richest congressional members list since Roll Call began its survey in 1990, North Dakota fills two places this year with Berg and Sen. John Hoeven (R).

Berg reported heavy investments in real estate, including apartment buildings and commercial properties.

Among his major assets were five commercial or apartment buildings in Fargo, N.D., and West Fargo, N.D., valued at $1 million to $5 million apiece.

While the values for some of those real estate investments have shifted since Berg filed his candidate financial disclosure in 2010, Berg’s wealth remains relatively level, increasing by less than 5 percent, or $1 million.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

12. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.)
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Minimum net worth: $35.20 millionChange from last year: +61.9% The House Minority Leader’s reported minimum net worth increased nearly 62 percent, thanks to a combination of real estate and football. Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, increased his investment in the United Football League to $5 million to $25 million. Pelosi had previously listed the asset with a value of $1 million to $5 million. According to the Democrat’s financial report, Paul Pelosi saw two of his real estate investments, an of
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $35.20 million
Change from last year: +61.9%

The House Minority Leader’s reported minimum net worth increased nearly 62 percent, thanks to a combination of real estate and football.

Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, increased his investment in the United Football League to between $5 million and $25 million. Pelosi had previously listed the asset with a value of $1 million to $5 million.

According to the Democrat’s financial report, Paul Pelosi saw two of his real estate investments—an office building in San Francisco and an undeveloped Sacramento property—increase in value in 2010 to $5 million to $25 million each. Those properties were each valued $1 million to $5 million in 2009.

Paul Pelosi also invested at least $2.47 million in the football league in 20 individual transactions in 2010, but continued to report an income loss of $1 million to $5 million.

Pelosi reported $8.25 million in liabilities from mortgage and other debts.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

11. Rep. Jim Renacci (R.-Ohio)
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Minimum net worth: $35.87 million Change from last year: N/A The Ohio freshman’s portfolio was an ode to diversity, with investments ranging from medical equipment to a minor league baseball team. In the mid-1980s, Renacci established a nursing home and 15 years later sold what had become multiple nursing facilities. He maintained investments in nursing home administration and medical equipment. The majority of Renacci’s assets were kept in five investment accounts with a combined worth of more
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $35.87 million
Change from last year: N/A

The Ohio freshman’s portfolio was an ode to diversity, with investments ranging from medical equipment to a minor league baseball team.

In the mid-1980s, Renacci established a nursing home and 15 years later sold what had become multiple nursing facilities. He maintained investments in nursing-home administration and medical equipment.

The majority of Renacci’s assets were kept in five investment accounts with a combined worth of more than $31 million.

His other assets included a $100,000 to $250,000 investment in the Lancaster, Calif.-based JetHawks baseball team; $500,000 to $1 million in Harley Davidson dealerships; and multiple loans, including $250,000 to $500,000 each to Gordie’s Bar and Grill and his own campaign committee.

Although Renacci listed two lines of credit valued to be at least $1 million each, his report noted that one was closed before the end of 2010. Members are required to report debts valued at more than $10,000 at any point during the calendar year.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

10. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R.-Fla.)
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Minimum net worth: $44.21 million Change from last year: -20.3% Buchanan’s wealth shows a precipitous drop, down 20 percent from his previous report. The Florida lawmaker reported selling off three of his six auto dealerships in 2010, claiming losses on each of the sales. According to his report, Buchanan sold two Fort Richey, Fla., dealerships in transactions valued at $1 million to $5 million. He had previously valued the dealerships at $1 million to $5 million and $100,000 to $250,000 each. T
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Bill Clark | Roll Call | Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $44.21 million
Change from last year: -20.3%

Buchanan’s wealth shows a precipitous drop, down 20 percent from his previous report. The Florida lawmaker reported selling off three of his six auto dealerships in 2010, claiming losses on each of the sales.

According to his report, Buchanan sold two Fort Richey, Fla., dealerships in transactions valued at $1 million to $5 million. He had previously valued the dealerships at $1 million to $5 million and $100,000 to $250,000 each.

The businesses are identified only by an LLC and “Auto Dealer” in Buchanan’s reports, but the Sarasota Herald Tribune in July identified the dealerships as Suncoast Ford and Suncoast Mitsubishi.
Buchanan also sold a Venice, Fla., dealership in a transaction valued at $5 million to $25 million. He previously valued the dealership in the same category. The Sarasota newspaper identified that company as Venice Dodge Nissan.

The Republican lawmaker also reported writing off two loans to his former business partner Sam Kazran, totaling at least $1.5 million.

The Bradenton Herald reported in June that the Federal Election Commission asked a federal court to fine the car dealership once jointly owned by Kazran and Buchanan nearly $68,000 for violating campaign finance laws by reimbursing employees who made campaign contributions to Buchanan’s campaign.

Buchanan still claimed significant investment accounts and real estate, along with three auto dealerships valued at a combined minimum of $11 million.

He also dropped about $6 million in debts from his previous report.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.)
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Minimum net worth: $45.39 million Change from last year: -1.5% The California Senator’s wealth remained stable in 2010, dipping by a nearly imperceptible 1.5 percent. Feinstein’s largest single asset remained her $5 million to $25 million investment in San Francisco’s Carlton Hotel Properties, which she shares with her husband, Richard Blum. The couple reported no income from the property in 2010. The couple also owns a Kauai, Hawaii, condominium valued at $1 million to $5 million, which generat
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $45.39 million
Change from last year: -1.5%

The California senator’s wealth remained stable in 2010, dipping by a nearly imperceptible 1.5 percent.

Feinstein’s largest single asset remained her $5 million to $25 million investment in San Francisco’s Carlton Hotel Properties, which she shares with her husband, Richard Blum. The couple reported no income from the property in 2010.

The couple also owns a Kauai, Hawaii, condominium valued at $1 million to $5 million, which generated $15,000 to $50,000 in rental income in 2010.

Much of Feinstein’s reported wealth was generated by her spouse’s numerous investment partnerships and limited liability corporations. Blum reported 19 accounts—including partnerships, LLCs, brokerage accounts and a checking account—valued at “over $1 million.”

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

8. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.)
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Minimum net worth: $52.93 million Change from last year: N/A The Connecticut Senator makes his mark as the richest freshman Member of the 112th Congress. But Blumenthal dropped more than $11 million from the minimum net worth he reported as a candidate in the Nutmeg State’s Senate contest in early 2010. Blumenthal’s wealth stems in part from his wife, Cynthia Blumenthal, who is the daughter of New York real estate magnate Peter Malkin. Among the family’s numerous real estate investments were Emp
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $52.93 million
Change from last year: N/A

The Connecticut senator makes his mark as the richest freshman Member of the 112th Congress.

But Blumenthal dropped more than $11 million from the minimum net worth he reported as a candidate in the Nutmeg State’s Senate contest in early 2010.

Blumenthal’s wealth stems in part from his wife, Cynthia Blumenthal, who is the daughter of New York real estate magnate Peter Malkin.

Among the family’s numerous real estate investments were Empire State Building Associates, which holds a 114-year master lease on the New York landmark, and the Empire State Building Co., which operates the building.

While both assets were valued at “over $1 million” in Blumenthal’s candidate filing, Empire State Building Associates declined to between $500,000 and $1 million in his most recent report.

Blumenthal also decreased the value of his stake in Merrifield Apartments Co., which owns properties in Connecticut and Virginia, from the $5 million to $25 million category to “over $1 million.”

The Senator also dropped two trusts previously listed for one of his four children, who is no longer a dependent, removing about $2.8 million from his total assets.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

7. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.)
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Minimum net worth: $55.07 millionChange from last year: +10.8% The New Jersey Senator would make the cut to be among the 50 richest Members of Congress on his own, but he also got a sizable boost from his spouse and her expansive stake in real estate based in New York. Lautenberg, who founded the data-processing company ADP, maintains two blind trusts: one valued at $5 million to $25 million and the other at $1 million to $5 million. He reported the sale of a trust, previously valued at $1 milli
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $55.07 million
Change from last year: +10.8%

The New Jersey senator would make the cut to be among the 50 richest nembers of Congress on his own, but he also got a sizable boost from his spouse, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, and her expansive stake in real estate based in New York.

Lautenberg, who founded the data-processing company ADP, maintains two blind trusts—one valued at $5 million to $25 million and the other at $1 million to $5 million.

He reported the sale of a trust, previously valued at $1 million to $5 million, in a transaction of those same values.

Nonetheless, his minimum net worth saw a nearly 11 percent increase in 2011, or more than $5 million, likely due to multiple stock purchases and other new investments by various trusts held by his wife.

According to Lautenberg’s annual report, five of those transactions were valued at “over $1 million.” Lautenberg listed no debts in 2010.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

6. Rep. Jared Polis (D.-Colo.)
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Minimum net worth: $65.91 million Change from last year: +16.7% Polis reversed several years of decline in his minimum net worth, adding more than $9 million to his reported wealth. The Colorado lawmaker had reported drops in his minimum net worth each year since his first filing as a candidate in 2008, although some of those reductions were likely the result of the reporting system and not actual losses to his net worth. Polis created a blind trust in March 2010, valuing the asset at $25 millio
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $65.91 million
Change from last year: +16.7%

Polis reversed several years of decline in his minimum net worth, adding more than $9 million to his reported wealth.

The Colorado lawmaker had reported drops in his minimum net worth each year since his first filing as a candidate in 2008, although some of those reductions were likely the result of the reporting system and not actual losses to his net worth.

Polis created a blind trust in March 2010, valuing the asset at $25 million to $50 million on his newest disclosure report.

He reported the transfer of multiple investment funds into the trust, including seven assets previously valued at $1 million to $5 million and five funds previously valued at $500,000 to $1 million. Polis also reported partial transfers of $1 million to $5 million invested in Australian dollars and Norwegian crown.

In 2010, Polis reported a reduction in his liabilities. The Coloradan listed more than $6 million in debt in 2009, including a $5 million margin loan he repaid that same year and dropped from his latest report. He reported a little more than $2 million in debts for 2010.

In 2010, Polis also reduced a mortgage on a Boulder property from at least $5 million to at least $1 million. The House lawmaker added a line of credit valued at $1 million to $5 million and listed two credit cards with debts of $15,000 to $50,000.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

5. Sen. Mark Warner (D.-Va.)
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Minimum net worth: $76.30 million Change from last year: +8.7% How do you know when you’ve really made it? When your blind trust reports 10 transactions valued at $5 million to $25 million in the span of a single month. According to Warner’s annual report, the MRW Blind Trust — which he does not directly control — made a series of purchases and sales of Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts in June 2010, earning the Senator interest and capital gains of $100,000 to $1 million. Warner, who made h
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $76.30 million
Change from last year: +8.7%

How do you know when you’ve really made it?

When your blind trust reports 10 transactions valued at $5 million to $25 million in the span of a single month.

According to Warner’s annual report, the MRW Blind Trust—which he does not directly control—made a series of purchases and sales of Standard & Poor’s depositary receipts in June 2010, earning the senator interest and capital gains of $100,000 to $1 million.

Warner, who made his fortune as a telecom mogul, co-founding Nextel telecommunications company, reported an increase of more than $6 million in his minimum net worth in 2010.

That growth stems in part from the Virginian’s stake in the Columbia Capital Equity Partners investment company, based in Alexandria, Va. Warner reported his investment in that company was worth $5 million to $25 million, an increase from its 2009 value of $1 million to $5 million.

He also continued to decrease his debts in 2010, dropping $1 million in liabilities and leaving only a relatively minuscule loan of at least $15,000 from the Virginia Commerce Bank.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.)
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Minimum net worth: $81.63 million Change from last year: +0.2% The West Virginia Senator’s fortunes remained nearly unchanged, increasing by less than 1 percent. Rockefeller, a descendant of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, maintained nearly all of his wealth in three blind trusts with a combined minimum total value of $80 million. The largest of those trusts, an account with JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York established in 1934, was valued at “over $50 million.” The second largest, established in
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Bill Clark | Roll Call | Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $81.63 million
Change from last year: +0.2%

The West Virginia senator’s fortunes remained nearly unchanged, increasing by less than 1 percent.

Rockefeller, a descendant of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, maintained nearly all of his wealth in three blind trusts with a combined minimum total value of $80 million.

The largest of those trusts, an account with JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York established in 1934, was valued at “over $50 million.” The second largest, established in 1952, was valued at $25 million to $50 million. Rockefeller reported both accounts generated $1 million to $5 million in income in 2010.

Rockefeller reduced his liabilities in 2010, dropping a $50,000 loan owed by his spouse, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, to JPMorgan.

His only liability remained a 1998 demand loan from the United National Bank valued at $5 million to $25 million.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

3. Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.)
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Minimum net worth: $193.07 million Change from last year: +2.5% Kerry has appeared at or near the top of Roll Call’s annual survey for 15 years, but even a modest uptick in his reported wealth couldn’t earn him the No. 1 spot this time around. As with many of the wealthiest Members of Congress, much of the Massachusetts Senator’s wealth is attributable to his spouse. Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow of the late Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), the scion of the ketchup fortune. Although Hein
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $193.07 million
Change from last year: +2.5%

Kerry has appeared at or near the top of Roll Call’s annual survey for 15 years, but even a modest uptick in his reported wealth couldn’t earn him the No. 1 spot this time around.

As with many of the wealthiest Members of Congress, much of the Massachusetts senator’s wealth is attributable to his spouse. Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow of the late Sen. John Heinz (R.-Pa.), the scion of the ketchup fortune.

Although Heinz Kerry’s fortune has been estimated at likely several times the minimum figure listed in the senator’s annual public reports, it is impossible to estimate based on those records.

Members are permitted to report assets held solely by a spouse in a special category designated only as “over $1 million,” with no limit on the actual value of the asset—more than 140 items on Kerry’s disclosure this year fell into that category.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

2. Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.)
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Minimum net worth: $220 million Change from last year: +37.7% Always really, really wealthy — but not the richest. Despite producing a significant bump in his minimum net worth in 2010 — and claiming the highest total assets reported by any Member, with $295.40 million — Issa is still just the second wealthiest lawmaker. Before his election to Congress, the California Congressman made his fortune founding Directed Electronics — based in Vista, Calif. — which manufactures car alarms. His wealth i
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $220 million
Change from last year: +37.7%

Always really, really wealthy—but not the richest.

Despite producing a significant bump in his minimum net worth in 2010—and claiming the highest total assets reported by any member, with $295.40 million—Issa is still just the second-wealthiest lawmaker.

Before his election to Congress, the California congressman made his fortune founding Directed Electronics—based in Vista, Calif.—which manufactures car alarms.

His wealth is now vested in two corporations that own and operate office and industrial properties in California: DEI LLC and Greene Properties, as well as various investment funds.

Issa reported the value of Greene Properties in the “over $50 million” range, an increase from his prior report in which he valued the company at $25 million to $50 million.

At the same time, Issa divided some of DEI’s assets into separate limited liabilities companies.

While DEI was previously valued at “over $50 million,” the highest category available on standard disclosure forms, Issa this year valued the company at $25 million to $50 million. But the 11 properties previously held by DEI were valued at a combined minimum value of $38.2 million in this year’s financial disclosure form, increasing Issa’s overall net worth.

Issa could have snagged the No. 1 place on Roll Call’s annual list, but he reported two new business lines of credit in 2010, one worth more than $50 million and the other worth $25 million to $50 million. Issa listed these loans as “personal notes” and explained that they were “provided through a business line of credit from Merrill Lynch secured with personal assets.”

Last year, Issa had reported having only one liability, a line of credit for $1 million to $5 million from Merrill Lynch.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

1. Rep. Michael McCaul (R.-Texas)
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Minimum net worth: $294.21 million Change from last year: +298.9% When McCaul first appeared on Roll Call’s annual survey of the 50 Richest Members of Congress in 2005, he was a wealthy guy, reporting a minimum net worth of about $12 million. His financial disclosure report now depicts a fortune worth almost 25 times that amount, making him the wealthiest Member of Congress, at least on paper. McCaul ranked fifth among last year’s class of richest lawmakers, with a minimum net worth of at least
Source: Roll Call|| Photo: Bill Clark | Roll Call | Getty Images

Minimum net worth: $294.21 million
Change from last year: +298.9%

When McCaul first appeared on Roll Call’s annual survey of "The 50 Richest Members of Congress in 2005," he reported a minimum net worth of about $12 million.

His financial disclosure report now depicts a fortune worth almost 25 times that amount, making him the wealthiest member of Congress, at least on paper.

McCaul ranked fifth among last year’s class of richest lawmakers, with a minimum net worth of at least $73.75 million, but has since risen to more than $294 million.

The lion’s share of McCaul’s wealth is held by his wife, Linda McCaul, the daughter of Clear Channel Communications CEO and founder Lowry Mays. The congressman’s dramatic rise in net worth in 2010 appears to be the product of generational wealth transfer.

A footnote to McCaul’s newest report noted that “certain assets” owned by his spouse were “acquired via a gift from spouse’s parents.” The accounts were not identified.

On his financial disclosure, McCaul listed a new asset—the Linda McCaul Descendant Trusts—owned by his wife that was valued at more than $50 million. According to his report, that trust was invested in several other family partnerships.

McCaul, likewise, added two trusts under the ownership of his dependent children, including one trust valued at $25 million to $50 million and another at $1 million to $5 million.

Another of Linda McCaul’s investment accounts also appears to have doubled in value, moving from a minimum worth of $25 million to a minimum of $50 million.

Published with permission from CQ Roll Call.

Interested to see where your senator or congressman ranks? Visit Roll Call for its list of the nation’s 50 richest lawmakers from the 112th Congress.