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Congress strikes it rich as average American grows poorer

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2015 3:59 p.m. MDT

Congress’ median net worth increased 5 percent during the recession while that number dropped 39 percent for the average American. (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images) Congress’ median net worth increased 5 percent during the recession while that number dropped 39 percent for the average American. (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

Congress’ median net worth increased 5 percent during the Great Recession, even though the average American's net worth plunged 39 percent over the same period, according to The Washington Post.

The richest one-third of Congress increased their estimated net worth by 14 percent.

Seventy-two members of Congress doubled their wealth from 2004 to 2010.

"These are supposed to be our representatives," Aaron Task, from The Daily Ticker, said in a report. "If they're not living the same lives or understanding the lives that the average American is living, how can they really represent our interests?"

The report analyzed thousands of financial disclosure forms required of representatives but excluded data that is not required, such as home values or their congressional retirement plan.

Despite popular belief, representatives don’t get rich from being in Congress, though elected officials who are wealthy continue to earn more, according to The Washington Post.

While Republicans were 44-percent wealthier than Democrats in Congress in 2004, there is currently little to no difference in wealth between the two parties, according to the Post.

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