Such rankings aren't new and are based on the annual financial disclosure forms filed by members of Congress, which are tracked annual by the Center for Responsive Politics, which includes a database of finance reports for members of Congress.
The Post's investigation, called "Capitol Assets," dug deeply into the 2010 figures, examining how members manage their money and how they can benefit from bills they support. The Post concludes that wealthy lawmakers mostly weathered the recession without significant declines in their wealth.
"You would find that, contrary to many popular perceptions, lawmakers don’t get rich by merely being in Congress," write Dan Keating, Scott Higham, Kimberly Kindy and David S. Fallis for the Post. "Rich people who go to Congress, though, keep getting richer while they’re there.
"The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers were largely immune from the Great Recession, taking the fewest financial hits and watching their investments quickly recover and rise to new heights. But more than 20 percent of the members of the current Congress — 121 lawmakers — appeared to be worse off in 2010 than they had been six years earlier, and 24 saw their reported wealth slide into negative territory."
Risch, who the Post describes as a real estate investor, is not only among the wealthiest members of Congress, he's among the most risk averse, with the bulk of his wealth in agricultural land. Risch calls himself a rancher and a lawyer. He made his money in law, then invested in real estate. His assets are largely in Ada and Canyon counties.
The Post estimates Risch's wealth at $54.1 million, down 4 percent from 2007, when he began running for the Senate.
Labrador's net worth is estimated at a negative $31,999.
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