Friday, January 10, 2014

Despite apparent decline in wealth, Rep. Vern Buchanan still one of Congress' richest members

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, in 2012 slipped from fifth place to sixth in the latest look at the wealth of members of the U.S. House.

Determining a lawmaker's exact wealth is difficult because representatives and senators only have to report their assets and liabilities in broad ranges. The Center for Responsive Politics, which compiles information gathered from publicly available disclosure forms, derives an average to develop its rankings.

In 2012, CRP said Buchanan's wealth was somewhere between a minimum net worth of minus $58.1 million  to more than $235.7 million, for an average of  $88.8 million, down from $108.2 million a year earlier.

On his 2012 disclosure form, Buchanan listed 142 assets, with a value of between $58.6 million and $259.6 million. His holdings include stocks, bonds, real estate, auto dealerships and an aircraft leasing firm.

He also listed 18 liabilities, mostly mortgages and other loans, worth between more than $26.9 million and $132 million.

Despite the apparent decline in his wealth, Buchanan did remain in the list of 10 wealthiest members of Congress, including both the House and Senate. On that list, he fell between Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., with an average wealth of almost $101.3 million, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at $88 million.

The wealthiest member of Congress, according to CRP, is Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., at more than $464.1 million.

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