House, Senate banking panels led by chairmen with modest personal wealth

But House Oversight chief has at least $150 million in assets

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Republican Spencer Bachus is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which is trying to make several major changes to the Dodd-Frank reform law. 

 

Congress has many millionaires, but the chairmen of the powerful House and Senate committees that regulate banking and Wall Street aren’t among them, according to both lawmakers’ annual disclosure forms.

Members of Congress are required to file annual forms listing their major sources of income, assets, liabilities and gifts.  Most lawmakers, except for members of leadership, were paid $174,000 in 2010. Each is allowed to earn up to $26,100 in annual income for work performed outside Congress.

However, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee -- which has a subcommittee dedicated to monitoring the roll-out of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and repayment of federal bailouts -- is a different story. He listed assets totaling at least $150 million.

Following are the 2010 disclosures made by the chairmen of the House and Senate committees that regulate financial services, and by the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as reported by the Associated Press:

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman, House Financial Services Committee

Earned income: $174,000

Major assets: Accounts with Congressional Federal Credit Union, Fidelity Investments and Regions bank, each less than $1,000.

Major sources of unearned income: Earnings on credit union, Fidelity and Regions accounts, less than $200 each.

Major liabilities: Loan from BBVA Compass Bank, $15,001-$50,000

Summary: Bachus' most valuable assets belong to his wife, Linda: An annuity from the Pacific Life Insurance Co., $250,001-$500,000; a Smith Barney IRA, $100,001-$250,000 and a rental property called Southwood Properties, $100,001-$250,000. The couple's largest source of unearned income is also owned by Linda: Rent totaling $2,501-$5,000 from Southwood Properties. The couple reported 28 sales and purchases of investment funds last year, with each transaction valued at less than $15,000

 

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman, Senate Banking Committee

Earned income: None

Major assets: Two rental properties in Vermillion, S.D., $115,002 to $300,000; Bank of America money market account, $50,001-$100,000

Major sources of unearned income: Rent from Vermillion properties, $10,002-$30,000

Major liabilities: None

Summary:  Johnson's wife, Barbara, received consulting fees in excess of $1,000 from The Spectrum Group, a consulting and lobbying firm in Alexandria, Va.

 

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Earned income: $174,000

Major assets: Greene Properties, a commercial real estate company in Vista, Calif., and holdings in Putnam High Yield Trust Fund, each worth more than $50 million

Major sources of unearned income: 11 investments, mostly in mutual funds, earned more than $1 million each

Major liabilities: Greene Properties, personal note, more than $50 million; DEI LLC., personal note, $25 million-$50 million

Summary:  Issa is one of the richest members of Congress. As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, his jurisdiction is so vast that it could potentially conflict with almost any source of income. Issa appears to avoid any obvious conflict because he does not own individual stocks. Most of Issa's investments last year were in two areas: high income mutual funds and companies that manage properties. Issa made his fortune as owner of the company that produces Viper car alarms. He no longer runs the firm, but remains a director of the parent elec tronics company, DEI Holdings. He also owns the company's corporate headquarters.

In addition to Greene Properties and DEI, Issa has four other assets worth $25 million to $50 million each. He has 17 investments worth $5 million to $25 million. Issa received $825 for each of two appearances on the Bill Maher show.

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