Despite a long and deep recession, the collective personal wealth of congressional members increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a study released Wednesday by the Center for Responsive Politics .
The study also indicates that a significant number of members owned shares of major players in the health-care and financial-services sectors, which were the subject of major reform legislation during the period.
The findings—based on federal financial disclosure data released earlier this year—paint a wealthy bunch in Congress, with more than half of all members—261—were millionaires.
About one in five of those had average calculated wealth in 2009 of at least $10 million. Eight of the 261 were in the $100 million-plus range.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) ranked No. 1 in personal wealth—$303.5 million. (See related slideshow.)
In contrast, U.S. median household income dropped 3 percent to $50,221 between 2008 and 2009, the second straight decline, according to the Census Dept. In terms of millionaires, only about 1 percent of the overall population qualifies.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page