Congressional freshman class filled with millionaires

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and wife, Cynthia, celebrate during his election night rally in Hartford, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Blumenthal, D-CT, is projected to have defeated former wrestling executive Linda McMahon in the Connecticut Senate race. <br><br> <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20021575-503544.html" class="linkIcon read"><b>How Richard Blumenthal Defeated Linda McMahon</b></a> <br><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com%0A/8301-503544_162-20021505-503544.html%20" class="linkIcon read"><b>Live Blog: Election 2010 Results </b></a><br> <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/election2010" class="linkIcon read"><b>Complete Coverage: Campaign 2010</b></a> AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is the richest member of the 112th congressional freshman class.
AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

Sixty percent of Senate freshman and more than 40 percent of House freshmen are millionaires, according to an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Just one percent of Americans overall can say the same.

The median estimated wealth for Senate freshmen, based on federal personal financial disclosure reports, is $3.96 million. For House freshmen, it's $570,418.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, whose estimated wealth is calculated to be $94.87 million, tops the list of wealthiest congressional freshmen. Blumenthal's large fortune came in handy in his campaign against former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, who spent about $47 million of her own money on the campaign.

Members of Congress are only required to report their wealth and liabilities in broad ranges, so the Center calculated each member's average estimated wealth by determining the minimum and maximum value of their assets. Additionally, federal financial disclosures don't require members of Congress report certain assets, such as personal residences.

With these constraints in place, the Center concluded that the full freshman class of the 112th Congress has an estimated wealth of $533.1 million, with a minimum net worth of about $221 million and a maximum net worth of about $845.2 million.

The Senate freshman's class is on average wealthier than the 111th Senate, though the House freshmen are slightly less wealthy than the 111th House. Last year, the Center estimated there were 261 millionaires in the 111th Congress.

Seven House freshmen, all Republican, followed Blumenthal on the list of Congress' wealthiest new members. Those freshmen, along with their estimated wealth, are: Diane Lynn Black of Tennessee ($49.4 million), Rick Berg of North Dakota ($39.2 million), Blake Farenthold of Texas ($35.8 million), Scott Rigell of Virginia ($29.9 million), James Renacci of Ohio ($28.4 million), Steve Pearce of New Mexico ($23.2 million), and Richard Hanna of New York ($22.1 million).

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