Millionaires ‘New Normal’ in Congress

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

We’ve heard about the 1 percent.

We’ve heard about the 47 percent.

And now, for the first time, more than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires — that word comes from the Center for Responsive Politics, the Washington-based organization that tracks political money.

The median net worth in 2012 for all current members who were here as of the May filing deadline (530 of 535) was $1,008,767.

That’s the first time the median has been over $1 million, the center says — 268 current members had a net worth of $1 million or more – citing congressional and candidate disclosures. That’s up from 257 (48 percent) last year.

The center notes: 

“Members of Congress have long been far wealthier than the typical American, but the fact that now a majority of members — albeit just a hair over 50 percent — are millionaires represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code.”

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