Financial Holdings of Spouses


The Center for Responsive Politics has a nice post that digs deeply into that treasure trove known as the Personal Financial Disclosure forms of members of Congress.

Forty-six husbands and wives of Congress members reported owning stock in 2006 in companies that have a vested interest in their spouses’ committees, worth a total of $27.3 million to $46.7 million, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found. The list includes spouses who own stock in Lockheed Martin while the lawmaker sits on the House Armed Services Committee; or are invested in food giant SYSCO while the lawmaker is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee; or own shares of Exxon Mobil while married to a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee…

In 2006, the most recent year for which CRP has been able to analyze personal financial disclosure data, the spouses of Democratic lawmakers had more invested in companies related to their committees (worth at least $23.2 million) than the lawmakers themselves did (worth at least $5.5 million). The spouses of Republican lawmakers, by contrast, had less money invested in companies related to these committees (worth at least $4.1 million) than the lawmakers themselves (worth at least $39 million).

Overall, 304 congressional husbands and wives whose finances were reported on their spouses’ forms were worth between $698.8 million and $1.3 billion from their stocks, corporate bonds and other investments in 2006. (Assets and liabilities are disclosed in ranges on these forms, making it impossible to calculate net worth precisely.) The most popular spousal assets overall included General Electric, drugmaker Pfizer and Bank of America.

In at least 61 cases, the husbands and wives of Congress had investment portfolios worth significantly more than the lawmaker’s. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for example, reported assets worth no more than $15,000, while her husband, Paul, an investor, had between $16.2 million and $57.8 million in assets. Spouses also bring with them their mortgages, school loans and other liabilities, however. For Paul Pelosi, this could mean up to $10.3 million in debt, more than any other lawmaker’s spouse.

Really interesting stuff.