in Houston, Texas
Houston-area Congressional delegation gets wealthier even in recession
Monday, Mar 05, 2012, 11:35AM CST
By Steve Miller
money house

While median incomes among Texas residents increased a barely-perceptible 0.8 percent between 2007 and 2010, the capital gains of most of our Beltway delegation climbed with gusto, according to this Houston Chronicle analysis.

The new findings covered the period between 2006 and 2010 and were done by mining the required financial disclosure filings by our elected federal representatives. Seven of the 11 noted made money as the S & P Index slid 11 percent over that period.

We’re especially proud of Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, whose already formidable bank rose 715 percent, from $46 million to $380 million.

Especially proud because it appears that McCaul hasn’t held a private-sector job very often, according to his biography. He came to Congress after working in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Texas, and prior to that, he was a deputy attorney general when U.S. Sen. John Cornyn was the AG. He was also a federal prosecutor in Washington.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee has also weathered to recession well, jumping her assets 433 percent, from $175,000 to $935,000.

That didn’t deter Jackson Lee from lamenting those who are less fortunate.

“The house is on fire,” Jackson Lee told an MSNBC talking head last year. “Poverty has to be our number one issue for the American people.”

But both of these legislative giants have lost value on their respective homes. McCaul’s assessed home value  - on a 10,000-square foot crib in Austin - went from $3.125 million in 2006 to $3.110 million in 2010, while Jackson Lee’s more modest 4,000-square foot place in Houston slipped in appraised value from $242,000 in 2008 to $221,532 in 2010.

Also noteworthy is the gain of Republican presidential contender Ron Paul, who reported a 46 percent increase from $2.4 million to $3.5 million.

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or

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Image 'Money House' by flickr user 401K, used via a Creative Commons license.

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