A political blog post on Roll Call lists U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, as the fourth poorest member of the House or Senate.
According to Roll Call, a report by Steven Dennis for Hannah Hess’ Hill Botter lists McKeon’s net worth as -$943,000 (a negative number) due to a pair of mortgages valued at more than $500,000, in addition to a personal loan for more than $10,000.
At the other end of the spectrum, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-San Diego, whose worth is estimated at around $357 million, is No. 1 out of the nation’s 535 members of Congress.
Issa made a fortune as CEO of Directed Electronics, a car alarm company from San Diego.
“Quirks” in the nation’s disclosure laws make it impossible to accurately assess net financial worth off the forms alone, the post states.
Perhaps most significantly, federal legislators must list a mortgage as a liability, but they don’t have to list home values, which, for most, is their largest asset, the blog points out.
Using the example of Congress’ “poorest” member, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, the list points out “how imprecise congressional financial disclosure requirements are.”
A dairy farm listed by Valadao has a value range of $1 million to $5 million, so for the purposes of the story, the blogger used the lowest end estimate of $1,000,001. Another property listed between $500,001 to $1 million, which the list valued at $500,001.
The congressional leaders’ “minimum net worth” was calculated by taking the total minimum values of their assets and subtracting the total minimum value of liabilities, which is evaluated on the same type of range.
They also aren’t required to disclose personal residences or federal savings accounts, according to the post.
The list of the poorest included “one majority whip, one party chairman, one formerly impeached judge and one senator,” the post states.