The Lighter Side of Congress

Out with the Boehner, in with the Ryan. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With another calendar year and session of Congress wrapped up, HOH would be remiss if we didn't take a look back at what made it all special, from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s parking skills to the richest man  in Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa, dishing on where the cheapest sodas were,  from Capitol Police leaving guns in the potty to Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., doing 46 pushups . Hill Happenings Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's notorious exercise band accident started off 2015, leading to a horrific eye injury and broken ribs. Reid missed the start of the Congress and when he returned, he was sporting dark shades. He later announced his retirement, and sued the exercise band maker.  

Meanwhile, the Band Perry helped bring in the new year with a performance at the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 13.   That little bit of good cheer soon gave way to the news of Illinois GOP Rep. Aaron Schock's "Downton Abbey"-inspired office décor , which led to a rough week for him and his staff, and turned him into a punch-line at the 71st Congressional Dinner on Feb. 6 , with Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and New York Democratic Rep. Charles B. Rangel picking fun at Schock and fellow lawmakers.  

The 10 Poorest Members of Congress (Video)

Quigley ranks among the "poorest" members of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How do you calculate the “poorest” members of Congress? The 10 on our list have millions in debt among them — from business loans to credit cards to unpaid attorney fees related to an impeachment. But it’s hard to say any of them are really “poor” at all.

With a $174,000 annual salary for most members — which hasn’t budged since the economy turned sour years ago — lawmakers still make far more than the average American, and many are millionaires. But that doesn’t mean everyone is rolling in dough. They have expenses such as maintaining housing in the expensive Washington real estate market, as well as back home in their districts. And some came into office deep in the hole.

Wealth of Congress Superlatives! (Video)

Constructing Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress project involves spending an extensive amount of time up to our noses in financial disclosure forms.  

Most of that is spent poring over ink on an endless numbers of pages and crunching numbers. But every so often, certain nuggets of data stand out. And sometimes, aspects of the filing form itself are what pop.  

Overheard: Build These Poor Congressmen Some Bunks

"Perhaps somewhere along the lines somebody should have built a dormitory for congresspersons, but they did not."