Who are New York’s wealthiest and poorest congress members? In our heavily class-focused society, this question may have crossed the minds of many, and plays into the anxiety some may feel regarding elected officials too-privileged status. A 2014 report by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit tracking money in U.S. politics, found that for the first time in history, the majority of the United States Congress were millionaires. In a July 1 report, the New York Post explored the issue by profiling NY congress members with the highest and lowest income.
Carolyn Maloney, a Democratic congresswoman representing New York’s 12th District and a resident of the Upper East Side, ranked at the top of the list, with assets ranging from $11.3 million to $47.3 million. The report noted that Lowey has been ranked the second-wealthiest member of New York’s Congress. A 2015 summary by the Washington-based news outlet Roll Call ranked Maloney at 43 as the wealthiest member of Congress, with a net worth of 9.15 million.
Roll Call also found that Nita Lowey, a Democratic Congresswoman representing New York’s 17th District, ranked at 36 among the wealthiest, with an income of $12.03 million. According to the NY Post, Lowey was ranked the 17th wealthiest member of Congress in 2014. Other Democratic NY legislators on the New York Post’s list include Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has a reported balance of at least $550,000, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is believed to have as much as $460,000 in his accounts. The affluence among New York Congressman is spread across party lines, with Republican Congressman Dan Donovan owning a Staten Island home worth as much as $1 million, and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin owning a home worth 250,000 dollars in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Despite the ostensibly high income of many New York legislators, a 2014 New York Daily News report noted that most New York Congress members are living modestly relative to their counterparts nationwide. The report singled out Gillibrand and Schumer as less affluent members of Congress, along with Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), Steve Israel (D-L.I.), and Rep. Lydia Velasquez (D-Brooklyn), all of whom have “more debts than assets,” according to the report. On the question of whether legislators earn too much, a 2016 report the Atlantic noted that most U.S. legislators earn 174,000 annually, four times the paycheck of the average American.
By: Mendel Asimov