More Than Half of Congress Members Are Millionaires
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on January 10, 2014 @ 8:41PM
Created on January 10, 2014 @ 6:18PM

The United States is still slowly recovering economically, but it appears U.S. lawmakers are richer than ever before.

A new report shows for the first time in history more than half of congressional leaders are millionaires.

Congress has 534 members and at least 268 of them had a reported net worth of $1 million or more in 2012. That's up slightly from the previous year when roughly 48% of Congress was making seven figures.

It could be a historical moment for U.S. lawmakers especially because they're talking about big budget issues such as unemployment benefits, minimum wage, and food stamps.

Some experts are saying they aren't surprised when they look at inflation rates and the steady increase of wealthy political leaders over the last few years. Some argue it makes sense because political candidates need to be able to fund themselves if they want to run for office.

Dr. Patrick Hickey is a political science professor at WVU. He said, "You kind of have to have some socioeconomic resources. You have to have the time to dedicate a year campaigning, and there's not many of us who can just take off from our jobs for a year."

Some people claim the amount of millionaires in Congress bothers them while others said it doesn't affect them. 

"My family and friends work everyday. All day they work hard and break their backs for pretty much pennies. They're sitting around doing what seems like nothing for millions," said Monongalia County resident Aaron Baker.

Pendleton County resident Stephen Phares said, "It might bother some people, but I feel like what can we really do about it?"

Some experts believe this may become a talking point for some upcoming congressional candidates.


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