Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican who sits on the Ways and Means and Budget committees, is worth up to $74 million
It took a while for freshman Rep. Diane Black, 60, to get to the United States Congress and begin fighting against tax increases. But by the time she did, the Tennessee Republican had a lot of money to fight for. According to recently disclosed financial information, Black has a net worth between $16 million and $74 million and may be the richest new member of the House of Representatives. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that her net worth in 2009 was $49 million.
As is the case with many new members of Congress, Black swept into office on last November's tea party wave with a message of fiscal austerity. But there is a big gap between Black and the constituents she represents. The median income of her Tennessee district, according to the Almanac of American Politics, is about $46,000.
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Much of Black's money comes from her interest in Aegis Sciences Corporation, a Nashville forensic chemical and drug-testing laboratory that her husband, David, founded in 1986. Aegis, a company begun as a provider of drug-testing services for sports teams and employers, is also politically well-connected: Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) joined its board of directors in 2009. In 2010, according to Black's financial disclosure report, she and her husband sold a stake in their company for between $25 million and $50 million to Metalmark Capital. (The couple also bought back shares in the company worth between $5 million and $25 million, according to the disclosure.)