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The congressional millionaires' club: By the numbers
How rich is Congress? Well, the class of freshmen members is alone worth more than $500 million
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has an estimated personal wealth of $95 million, making him the wealthiest Senate freshman in the 112th Congress.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has an estimated personal wealth of $95 million, making him the wealthiest Senate freshman in the 112th Congress.
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lthough this year's House freshmen are sharply divided by ideology, they are united by one striking measure: Many of them are filthy rich. The Center for Responsive Politics found that 60 percent of Senate freshmen and 40 percent of House freshmen were worth $1 million or more. The statistics prove that Congress is populated "overwhelmingly with millionaires and near-millionaires who often own multiple homes," says Dan Eggen at The Washington Post. Here, a look at the numbers behind the congressional millionaires' club:

96
Number of new House members in the 112th Congress

40 percent
Approximate share of House freshmen who are millionaires

16
Number of new senators in the 112th Congress

60 percent
Share of Senate freshmen who are millionaires

1 percent
Approximate share of ordinary Americans who are millionaires

$3.96 million
Median estimated wealth of a Senate freshman

$570,418
Median estimated wealth of a House freshman

$25,149
Median estimated wealth of an American over the age of 18 (2005)

$533.1 million
The estimated combined worth of the full freshman class of the 112th Congress

$95 million
Estimated personal wealth of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the richest freshman. His wealth comes mainly from his wife's family, whose real estate holdings reportedly include the Empire State Building.

-$317,498
Estimated net worth of the poorest freshman lawmaker, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). Walsh, who lost his condo to foreclosure in 2009, is the only freshman in the red. He calls this a "badge of honor."

17
Number of freshmen who own stock in General Electric. Eleven invest in Bank of America, while 9 freshmen each invested in AT&T, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble.

Between $1 million and $5 million
Amount of money collectively invested in Citibank by freshman lawmakers

261
Number of millionaires in the last Congress, out of a total of 535 members

$911,510
Median wealth of all members in the last Congress

$303.5 million
Estimated wealth of the richest member of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), in 2009

Sources: OpenSecrets.org (2), Washington Post, CNBC, Politico, U.S. Census

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