Bloomberg News

Disclosure Reports Show Most Senate Leaders Are Millionaires

May 23, 2013

Senate Leaders Millionaires in Financial-Disclosure Reports

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray answer reporters questions at the Captiol on May 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reported their net worth in the millions of dollars as the U.S. Senate released personal financial disclosure reports for its members.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, reported assets of between $2.8 million and $6.3 million, including mining claims in his hometown of Searchlight valued from $100,000 to $250,000.

Kentucky Republican McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao, who served as U.S. labor secretary under former President George W. Bush, had assets of between $9.2 million and $36.5 million. Chao’s income included fees from sitting on corporate boards, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWSA:US) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC:US)

Lawmakers, required to disclose their financial assets once a year, report their holdings in broad ranges. Most Senate Democratic and Republican leaders reported assets with upper ranges of at least $1 million.

The chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, Charles Schumer of New York, reported that his wife, Iris Weinshall, a City University of New York vice chancellor, earned more than he did last year. Her salary was $234,368 while his was $172,887. They reported assets of between $368,000 and $1 million.

The Senate Democratic Conference secretary, Patty Murray of Washington, reported with her husband assets of between $565,000 and $1.5 million.

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois received an extension of the May 15 filing deadline.

Credit-Card Debt

On the Republican side, Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas reported assets of between $460,000 and $1.4 million, and a credit-card debt of between $15,000 and $50,000. Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general and a former judge on the Texas Supreme Court judge, received $58,939 from two state retirement funds.

Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, reported assets of between $2.7 million and $8.6 million. An orthopedic surgeon, he received between $500,000 and $1 million from the sale of his medical practice, and was paid $33,391 from the medical partnership he was part of.

Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota reported assets of between $173,000 and $596,000.

Richer members of the chamber include Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat. He reported at least $89 million in assets; a more precise number is unavailable because he listed his largest holding as more than $50 million.

Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson, who founded a plastics company, reported assets between $9.2 million and $39.7 million. Johnson reported owning a 5 percent interest in the company, valued at $4.5 million.

Rubio’s Royalties

On the other hand, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida reported a potentially negative net worth, with assets of between $259,000 and $860,000 and liabilities of between $450,000 and $1 million. Rubio, a prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidate, received $800,000 in royalties from Penguin Group USA Inc. for his 2012 memoir, “An American Son.”

He paid off his remaining student loans of between $100,000 and $250,000.

“When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago,” Rubio said in February as he delivered the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

The youngest U.S. senator, freshman Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut, and his wife each owed between $15,000 and $50,000 in student loans, his report showed. Murphy, 39, reported assets of between $70,000 and $225,000.

Warren’s Holdings

Freshman Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and Harvard University emeritus professor, and her husband Bruce Mann, a Harvard law professor, reported assets of between $3.8 million and $10.2 million. Most of it was in TIAA-CREF funds, including one valued at between $1 million and $5 million.

Warren received $59,417 from Aspen Publishers for a series of books, including “Bankruptcy and Article 9” and “Secured Credit: A Systems Approach,” and $103 in royalties from Yale University Press for “The Fragile Middle Class.”

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican elected last November, took a pay cut to come to Washington. He was paid $1 million last year by his law firm. He reported assets of between $2.2 million and $5.1 million, including an $843,000 loan to his campaign as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Liabilities include a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) margin loan of between $250,000 and $500,000.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican also mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential contender, received an extension of the deadline to file.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net; Greg Giroux in Washington at ggiroux@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.


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