You are hereWashington Post: Reps. Boehner, Cantor continue millionaires reign over House

Washington Post: Reps. Boehner, Cantor continue millionaires reign over House


-By Paul Kane and David A. Fahrenthold

June 15, 2011- While the majority status and chairman’s gavels may have changed hands, the “people’s” House is still run by millionaires.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) , the GOP leaders who rode to power on the grassroots wave of tea-party activists, are multi-millionaires with financial investments in some of the nation’s largest corporations.

Boehner had minimum financial holdings of $2 million at the end of 2010, while his top deputy was worth at least $3.4 million, according to financial disclosure forms that were released Wednesday. Their true net worth is likely to be far greater because lawmakers are only required to reveal a broad range of their financial holdings and the value of their primary residences is not mandatory in the disclosures. And, as is the case with Cantor’s wife, Diana, spouses are required to reveal the stocks and other assets they hold at the end of the year, not their annual income from the jobs they hold.

The forms, which all members of Congress had to file Wednesday unless specifically granted an extension, are designed to disclose the financial holdings of lawmakers in order to provide some transparency in their legislative maneuvering so voters can be aware of any potential conflict of interest.

The group who fueled the rise of House Republicans — those 87 GOP freshmen elected in last fall’s wave election — have a mixed record in terms of their own finances. At least 19 own assets worth more than $1 million, according to a Washington Post review of 2010 financial disclosure forms. However, after winning election on a platform of reigning in U.S. debt, at least 19 of those freshman listed personal liabilities in excess of $100,000.

The largest investments for Boehner, a former plastics executive from southwestern Ohio, come from mutual funds and a collection of individual retirement accounts. The speaker’s IRA is invested in a who’s who of Fortune 500 companies, ranging from WalMart (at least $15,000); Xerox ($15,000); Pfizer ($15,000); Goldman Sachs ($15,000), according to his forms.

Cantor, 48, is a former lawyer whose wife has become a financial powerhouse in Richmond, Va. Diana Cantor serves on the boards of Domino’s Pizza and Media General, the communications conglomerate that owns, among other media properties, the Richmond Times Dispatch. More than ten percent of the Cantor family holdings — totaling more than $350,000 — came from stock and stock options in those two companies, according to the whip’s disclosure forms. 

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