Because of the rules members of Congress wrote for themselves, pinning down specific values on their assets and liabilities is difficult. Lawmakers are required to report most information in only broad dollar-amount ranges. The 2011 reports contain, for the first time, information on values of mortgages on personal homes, but only similarly in broad ranges. The reports can be found online.
Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin -- a businessman who's been one of the wealthiest lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks during his almost 24-year tenure -- reported his minimum worth as $151 million. In his retirement, he is expected to continue operating the Bucks.
Among his many other holdings are a ranch in Wyoming and a horse-breeding operation. But he is not the only member of Congress involved in horses. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., reported his worth as at least $1.6 million, some of it tied to his one-half interest in Cardoberg Stables and a number of horses, including a racehorse named Unanimous Consent. Cardoza also reported three mortgages, the balances amounting to between $765,000 and $1.5 million.
Running in a redrawn district, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, lost her bid for the GOP nomination for her Cincinnati-based seat to Iraq War veteran Brad Wenstrup in March. But when the 112th Congress adjourns and her tenure is up, she will not be done with politics. She still owes between $515,000 and $1.5 million to lawyers for fees incurred fighting ethics charges. That potentially eclipses her net worth, which she reported as between $487,000 and $1.6 million.
Rep. Steven Rothman, who earlier this month lost his member-vs.-member matchup with fellow Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell, can head back to New Jersey with the consolation prize that he can fall back on his part-time role as landlord. He's a partial owner of 16 rental properties in the Garden State, most in Hackensack, the heart of his district. He reported his worth as between $1.4 million and $3.9 million. He reported no liabilities.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., reported assets worth between $1.5 million and nearly $2.5 million. He listed a mortgage in Florence, S.C. worth between $500,000 and $1 million. He listed a check overdraft worth between $10,000 and $15,000 as well as a credit line with $10,000-$15,000 in debt.
Among other soon-to-retire lawmakers, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, reported assets of between $630,000 to about $1.3 million, with no liabilities; Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, showed assets of between $9.3 to $18.2 million, with mortgage liabilities on homes in Maine and Florida of between $550,000 and $1.1 million.
Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., reported assets of between $135,000 and $360,000, and liabilities of between $230,000 and $550,000, all in mortgage-related debt, including a $15,000 to $50,000 home-equity loan; Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., showed assets of between $148,000 and $395,000 with no reported liabilities.
House Appropriations ranking Democrat Norm Dicks of Washington reported between $316,000 and $665,000 in assets, but held debt through several mortgages that totaled between $950,000 and $2 million.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., reported assets totaling anywhere between $950,000 and $2.9 million, including a certificate of deposit at the FirstBank of Puerto Rico worth from $15,001 to $50,000. He had liabilities totaling anywhere between $350,000 and $750,000. Both of his liabilities were mortgages on his personal residence in Fairfax, Va. that were refinanced in 2010.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, reported assets worth between $3.6 million and $10 million. Some of her largest assets were stocks, including between $250,000 and $500,000 in Exxon Mobil stock. She also reported owning between $100,000 and $250,000 in Merck, Microsoft, and PepsiCo stock, among other stocks and mutual funds. No liabilities were listed.
* An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported on the finanical position of Rep. Dennis Kucinich. His wife inherited the apartment in the United Kingdom last year.