Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

10 Most Indebted Members of the U.S. Congress
TheRichest.com ^ | February 22, 2014 | Kristen Duvall

Posted on 04/19/2014 8:27:05 AM PDT by Scoutmaster

The 113th Congress is considered one of the richest Congresses in history, and it’s possible that there are more millionaires in Washington than ever before. It’s easy to assume that everyone in politics is rolling in the dough, that they all have massive bank accounts with six and seven digit salaries coming in from goodness-knows-where.

Yes, the picture of Congress that’s often painted is that they are the elite, among America’s top 1%. And it’s true that many of them are wealthy and successful, with assets outweighing their liabilities. But we can’t assume that’s the case for all of them. That’s why we’re ranking the poorest members of Congress, here: However, we aren’t looking at those with no assets. Rather we’re looking at both their assets and their liabilities – because while some of these folks have million dollar homes, not all of them are paid for.

Famously, Barack Obama publicly claimed he was still paying back student debt when he entered the White House; he’s certainly not the only congressman in debt. Every member of congress must report their assets, which include money from bank accounts, stocks and other investments. If someone reports that they have $50,000 in the bank, no one would consider that to be poor. However, when we take a look at their liabilities we see those often outweigh the assets. This liabilities are subtracted from assets to provide an estimate of total net worth. Other liabilities might include credit cards, student loans, legal fees and open lines-of-credit.

This list takes a look at those members of Congress who owe the most, when their assets are weighed against their liabilities – according to the site rollcall.com which rounds up the finances of the U.S. congress.

10. Chaka Fattah (D – Pennsylvania): -$650,000

Chaka Fattah reported $800,000 in liabilities from mortgages and home equity loans. He owns three properties in the greater Philadelphia area and his assets include a state retirement account worth at least $50,000 and GE common stock worth $100,000. When you compare that to what some of the other members of Congress have, his assets are relatively low, and his mortgage payments are high.

9. Pedro R. Pierluisi (Resident Commission of Puerto Rico): -$674,000

Pedro R. Pierluisi is the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico for the United States Congress, which means he is a non-voting member. He can only vote on committees that he’s appointed to. Pierluisi lists his wife’s consulting firm as an asset worth at least $1 million, so why would he appear on this list? Well, he has several multimillion-dollar mortgages on homes in San Juan and that drops his net worth into negative territory since he has more liabilities than assets.

8. Joseph Crowley (D -New York): -$762,000

Joseph Crowley lists a few assets, mostly a small retirement plan and some college savings plans for his children, which isn’t all that unusual for most people even outside of Congress. However, his liabilities are on the high side thanks to two mortgages and a home equity line of credit totaling $850,000, which drops his net worth into the negative category.

7. Mike Quigley (D -Illinois): -$765,000

Mike Quigley has a college savings plan for his kids, and a pension left over from his service on the Cook County Board of Commissions. Again, nothing too out-of-the-ordinary here. But his debt is relatively high. While a mortgage is pretty standard fare for most people, Quigley also has credit card debt holding him back. His total debt is equal to $800,000, which he does not make up for with all of his combined assets.

6. Steve Israel (D – New York): -$795,000

Steve Israel has a small account worth less than $1,000 and a retirement account worth more than $15,000, which is something many middle-class folks can probably relate to. However, as with the other members of Congress on this list, his debt is pretty high. His liabilities come from a mixture of mortgages, credit card debt and the dreaded student loan debt from his children. All this debt combined totals up to about $800,000.

5. Ruben Hinojosa (D – Texas): -$808,000

Ruben Hinojoso’s financial troubles started when a family-owned food processing business went bankrupt during the recession. This left him with at least $1 million owed to a creditor, $250,000 in business debt and overdue city and county property taxes totaling about $35,000. This is enough to do damage to just about anyone’s financial health, and it’s dropped the Texas Democrat’s net worth down into negative digits. Proof that even politicians struggled during the economic downturn.

4. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R – California): -$943,000

Buck McKeon announced in January that he will not seek reelection in the 2014 election cycle. Before Congress, McKeon helped with the operations of his family’s chain of Western-style clothing stores, which have since closed down. He lists that he has $67,000 in assets composed of bank and life insurance accounts, but he owes more than $1 million in mortgages for two homes – one in his district and the other in Alexandria, VA.

3. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D – Florida): -$1.04 million

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the only woman on out list, and the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She’s spent most of her career in political office in her home state of Florida. Schultz’s assets may sound good to the rest of us, but it’s still not enough to get her out of severe debt. She reports $100,000 in stock that she shares with her husband, and several small bank accounts and a college savings plan for her children. So what puts Schultz’s net worth into the negative? She has two mortgages worth $750,000 combined, plus $350,000 in home equity and personal loans. She also carried more than $50,000 in credit card debt in 2012.

2. Alcee L. Hastings (D – Florida): -$2.23 million

Alcee Hastings has a controversial track record, and a lot of his debt stems from legal fees he accumulated while cleaning up his messes. When you look at his file, you see impeachments, removal from offices, sexual harassment charges, and accusations of nepotism. With a history like that, it’s not really surprising that he would have a ton of debt in legal fees. He’s still paying off more than $2 million in legal fees from a trial on charges of bribery while he was serving on a U.S. district court. He was acquitted of the charges, but later, a federal panel found that he’d lied and fabricated evidence. He was removed from the court after votes from the House and Senate. In addition to the legal fees, he also holds a mortgage of more than $100,000 that is comparable to the median home values in his district. Still, looking at his past, it’s almost shocking he was voted into Congress after Congress themselves voted him out of his former position.

1. David Valadao (R – California): -$4.10 million

Yes, David Valadao may have the distinction of being considered the poorest member of Congress, but he actually lists more than $1 million in assets. He reports only three assets: his two dairy farms with a combined net worth of $1.25 million and a bank account with more than $1,000 in it. So where does all the debt come from? Not everything he owns is paid for outright. He holds $5.35 million in liabilities, all farm-related, including a $1 million mortgage and multi-million dollar lines of credit on the farm, its operating herd and animal feed.


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: congress; democrats
February article, but I didn't see it posted.

Poor?

Conventional debt, credit card debt, unpaid legal fees related to corruption, business failures, living beyond means (Debbie?).

The two Republicans on the list have debt that is related to family owned businesses, Rep. David Valadao's due to multi-million dollar lines of credit on his dairy farms, their operating herds and animal feed.

1 posted on 04/19/2014 8:27:05 AM PDT by Scoutmaster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

Debt should never be confused with lack of wealth.

Alcee Hastings is the poster child of why we don’t want congressmen swimming in debt. The man has been bought, caught, impeached, and convicted on issues that arose from his debt.


2 posted on 04/19/2014 8:31:47 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

Boo Hoo. I’m going to see if we can’t set up a National Tag Day in their behalf. Oh, I forgot, we have one already. Its on April 15th.


3 posted on 04/19/2014 8:34:50 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

Debbies debt is mostly mortgage debt. That is pretty normal debt. 50K debt in credit cards is normal today unfortunately for most Americans who don’t make near her salary. As long as she makes the monthly payment, she and her husband will be fine.


4 posted on 04/19/2014 8:36:24 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: napscoordinator

How do banks loan more money on a place than it is worth?


5 posted on 04/19/2014 8:46:56 AM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

The article can be misleading in that it reports the mortgage debt but does not report the offsetting asset value of what is mortgaged.


6 posted on 04/19/2014 9:00:06 AM PDT by House Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

Ten jackasses who can’t manage their own money, but have the power to take ours.


7 posted on 04/19/2014 9:02:35 AM PDT by dainbramaged (Don't tell me, I'll tell you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster
"Every member of congress must report their assets, which include money from bank accounts, stocks and other investments."

Every member of congress should be required to do their own tax returns.

8 posted on 04/19/2014 9:03:27 AM PDT by Baynative (Got bulbs? Check my profile page.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: napscoordinator
50K debt in credit cards is normal today unfortunately for most Americans
Surely you jest.
9 posted on 04/19/2014 9:04:00 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2
How do banks loan more money on a place than it is worth?

The same way brokers will cover your losses if you invest in cattle futures-- see how Hillary Clinton turned a $1000 investment into a $99K profit when her trophy husband was governor of Arkansas.

10 posted on 04/19/2014 9:08:08 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: House Atreides
"...does not report the offsetting asset value of what is mortgaged"

WTF kind of balance sheet is that?

11 posted on 04/19/2014 9:12:36 AM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

This list is a crock!

I have a hard time believing Debbie Schultz is married to anyone.

Must be a rain soaked, Dead sewer rat and she probably keeps its corpse chained in the freezer, so that even if it did come back to life and attempt to flee, she stands a good chance of recapturing it because it’ll be hampered by frozen joints and probably won’t get fer far.

Least thatz whut I heard....


12 posted on 04/19/2014 9:23:16 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
Debt should never be confused with lack of wealth.

Hence my enigmatic "Poor?"

13 posted on 04/19/2014 9:28:41 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Baynative

Even if they DID their own tax returns, the IRS would cover their butts!!
ie Charlie Rangel!!! They get HUGE bennies the rest of us don’t!!!!


14 posted on 04/19/2014 9:32:14 AM PDT by Kit cat (OBummer must go)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: House Atreides
The article can be misleading in that it reports the mortgage debt but does not report the offsetting asset value of what is mortgaged.

Agree this is stupid.

I wonder how much Was-A-Man's sex change operation?

15 posted on 04/19/2014 9:35:40 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

Hmm...mostly 9 out of 10 Democrats, the Republican at least has asset collateral.

What this says is that they are the 10 Politicians in Congress who are most open to stealing, lying, embezzling, and ability to be bribed, paid off, offered meaningless high paying incentives, etc. etc. etc.


16 posted on 04/19/2014 9:41:31 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: napscoordinator

If this is correct, she’s also doing some asset schemes via holdings in different names:
http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/07/debbie-wasserman-schultz-hides-property-by-using-deborah-schultz/


17 posted on 04/19/2014 9:43:36 AM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

I remember loans on a home (for ANYBODY, actually) that were over 125% of value. I saw several of them in my subdivision.

A couple would get the house and cash (no money down, no closing costs) buy the house and make a down payment on a new car. They’d get friends as roommates and charge ‘rent’.

It never worked out. Less than a year. They walked away from the house and somebody else came along and did the same thing until the bubble burst.

The house across the street from me was one. 5 owners in less than 10 years. Mostly users, losers and cruisers.

The couple in there now (sixth) have been there the longest. They too fell under Obama’s darkness and both lost their jobs. I’ll give them this. BOTH got jobs that paid far below their last ones. They’re still there and crawling back to normalcy, even under Obama. I hope they survive. They work at even the lowest jobs to get by. God bless them.


18 posted on 04/19/2014 9:48:39 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Vendome

You are so nasty against Debbie WhatsHerFace Schultz!!

And so very funny!


19 posted on 04/19/2014 10:02:14 AM PDT by jayrunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster
Separated At Birth?
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Medusa

20 posted on 04/19/2014 10:15:27 AM PDT by upchuck (Support ABLE, the Anybody But Lindsey Effort. Yes, we are the ABLE!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vendome
I have a hard time believing Debbie Schultz is married to anyone.

I agree with you. Can't imagine waking up to that every morning, ugh. However, according to multiple sources, dear Debbie is married to Steve Schultz, a banker, and they have three kids.

21 posted on 04/19/2014 10:21:56 AM PDT by upchuck (Support ABLE, the Anybody But Lindsey Effort. Yes, we are the ABLE!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: upchuck

Coyote ugly.

Can’t believe any man would sacrifice a limb for her....


22 posted on 04/19/2014 10:49:55 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer
Not to mention the Republican’s debt is business related vs. the others who have multiple mortgages, credit lines and credit card debt. Apples vs. Volkswagen's.
23 posted on 04/19/2014 10:56:51 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

The article doesn’t state so, but Puerto Rico’s Pedro R. Pierluisi is a Democrat.


24 posted on 04/19/2014 10:59:52 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: oh8eleven

I don’t know but she makes over 160K a year. I hardly think 50K in credit card bills are going to cause her any major problems.


25 posted on 04/19/2014 11:12:16 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

R or D, they are ALL liberals. See a pattern?


26 posted on 04/19/2014 11:20:19 AM PDT by Kent1957
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kent1957

I’ll take your word on McKeon and Valadeo. I know nothing about them but will likely research them later today, thanks.


27 posted on 04/19/2014 11:47:52 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson