The Republican leader and the Democratic leader in the Senate saw their investments bear fruit last year, one making money in land, the other making money in stocks.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was among those who benefited significantly from the rising stock market, as his large number of investments continued to rebound. Many of his stock funds showed growth beyond the rise of the market, and his reported assets soared at least $2.7 million last year to a minimum of $9.8 million.
The Kentucky Republican’s biggest gains were in his SunTrust Money Market account and his Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which were both listed as being worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Already listed as No. 39 on Roll Call’s list of richest Members of Congress in 2009, McConnell’s bottom line increased about 37 percent in 2010 from his reports of at least $7.1 million in personal wealth that year.
McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, brought in some income through her job, clients and paid speaking engagements. Chao received an unknown amount in salary from the Heritage Foundation and reported receiving fees from the Fox News Network, Keppler Associates and Dole Foods. She also received an unspecified amount exceeding $1,000 each for seven speeches during 2010 for groups such as the American Chamber of Commerce, Corning and Vanguard, according to disclosure records.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also saw a decent gain to his bottom line last year, mostly due to his investments in real estate. The Nevada Democrat’s reported net worth grew at least $240,000, from $3.1 million in 2009 to more than $3.3 million in 2010.
The biggest boost came from an increase in value of 160 acres of land in Bullhead City, Ariz. The property, which was valued between $250,000 and $500,000 in 2009, was reported to be worth $1 million to $5 million as of the end of 2010. He also made a minimum of $50,000 through a blind trust money market at Wells Fargo & Co.
But along with those increases in assets comes a leftover loan from his narrow 2010 Senatorial win against Republican Sharron Angle. As of the end of 2010, Reid still owed between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Meadows Bank in Las Vegas, where he pays an annual interest rate of 9 percent.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.