Freshman congressional class includes millionaires and debtors

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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The Center for Responsive Politics released a report on the net worth of freshmen congressmen Wednesday. Included in the report is analysis of the wealth, or lack thereof, of the newest members.

Generally, the elected representatives tend to be wealthier than the general population, living up to the moniker “the millionaires’ club.”

“Sixty percent of Senate freshman and more than 40 percent of House freshmen are millionaires,” the Center found, noting that “roughly 1 percent of Americans at large claim the same lofty financial status.”

The wealthiest newcomer is Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, worth an estimated $94.87 million.

Blumenthal is followed in net worth by Republican Reps. Diane Lynn Black of Tennessee ($49.4 million), Rick Berg of North Dakota ($39.2 million), Blake Farenthold of Texas ($35.8 million), and Scott Rigell of Virginia ($29.9 million).

The Center’s report notably casts light on the financial woes of several members. Members whose finances are more similar to average Americans include Tea Party freshmen Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah.

According to the report, Rubio is worth between negative $210,989 and $135,999. Lee is worth between negative $32,995 and $193,998.

Another congressmen with little or no net worth is Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, who is worth between negative $837,984 and $2,995.

The only member of the new class of reps with an estimated minimum and maximum net worth in the red is Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh. According to the report, the congressman is worth between negative $481,994 and negative $153,001.