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House's Turn To Disclose Finances

The House Democratic leader who frequently assails Republicans for favoring the rich turns out to be one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is married to a successful San Francisco businessman, reports between $7 and $35 million dollars in real estate holdings, including two California vineyards, reports CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss.

The first woman to lead a political party in Congress joins another newcomer to the leadership, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., in the Capitol Hill multimillionaire club. Senators released their disclosure forms on Friday.

Pelosi, the daughter of a former mayor and congressman from Baltimore, holds her assets jointly with her husband, Paul.

They include a vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., valued at $5 million-$25 million; another vineyard in Rutherford, Calif., listed at $1 million-$5 million; and an option on San Francisco commercial property valued at $1 million-$5 million.

The annual disclose forms don't give exact amounts, only ranges.

They list as liabilities a mortgage on the St. Helena property and a line of credit, both listed at $1 million-$5 million.

The California lawmaker commands a good deal more wealth than other recent House Democratic leaders, including Tom Foley, D-Wash., and Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who was a high school wrestling coach before getting into politics, also had a more modest portfolio, reporting as his major asset a Washington D.C., townhouse where he lives, which he valued at $250,000-$500,000. He also reported savings accounts at a bank and credit union, and a mutual fund, each valued at $50,000-$100,000.

Hastert reported as unearned income $5,000-$15,000 from renting parts of his townhouse to two members of his staff.

Hastert, as speaker, received a salary of $192,600 last year. Pelosi, received $150,000, the general salary for representatives and senators in 2002.

Among the wealthiest Republicans, Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., listed his net worth down to the penny: $9,315,491.13.

Sensenbrenner, heir to a paper manufacturing fortune, is one of many members who could benefit from the recently enacted cut in taxes on capital gains and dividends paid by corporations. He reported holdings of two stocks — Kimberly Clark and Pfizer, worth between $500,000-$1 million, and three others in the $250,000-$500,000 range.

All 535 members of Congress are required to submit financial disclosure forms every year that show outside sources of income, assets, liabilities, travel paid by private interests and speech honoraria.

Pelosi's deputy, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, reported a pension fund, worth $250,000-$500,000, as his major asset. He purchased Telkonet stock four times throughout the year within his pension fund.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was still collecting money to pay off legal fees for a lawsuit filed against him by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The lawsuit, alleging violations of racketeering laws, was dismissed in 2001.

DeLay listed a liability of $50,000-$100,000 to a Houston law firm, and reported gifts to his legal expense trust totaling $48,900.

The House leadership also includes lawmakers notable for their lack of extraordinary wealth. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., a professor-turned-politician and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he had no major assets, unearned income or major liabilities.

Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., the 79-year-old chairman of the International Relations Committee, listed as his major asset a Congressional Federal Credit union account worth $50,000-$100,000. He received $7,277.76 as a pension for being a former member of the Illinois General Assembly.

John Dingell, D-Mich., the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the longest-serving House lawmaker, reported 37 mutual funds owned alone or with his wife, Debbie. He did not list the salary of his wife, who works for General Motors, but did say she has $1 million-$5 million in GM stock options and $500,000-$1 million in a GM Savings-Stock Purchase Program.