The Buzz

Emanuel Cleaver ranks as one of poorest members of U.S. House

With an estimated net worth of negative $2.3 million, Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver ranks as the third-poorest member of the U.S. House, a new survey shows.

The review, by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, lists Cleaver as the 432nd House member, meaning 431 are wealthier than he is.

The reason for the congressman’s new ranking appears to be his past ownership of a car wash in Grandview at 12204 Blue Ridge. In May, Cleaver and Bank of America settled a long-standing legal dispute over a loan he obtained to buy the business. That settlement left Cleaver still owing more than $1.2 million to the bank.

The congressman’s latest personal financial disclosure report filed in May with the House clerk reflects that debt, which is listed as a liability of between $1 million to $5 million. Disclosure reports require members only to file ranges of amounts owed or assets held.

The disclosure also reveals that he sold the business in February 2013 for $250,001 to $500,000, suggesting he didn’t recoup what he paid for the business.

All of that has dragged down Cleaver’s personal net worth. In a chart compiled by CNN Money, Cleaver was listed as the third-poorest member of Congress. California Rep. David Valadao had an estimated net worth of minus $11.6 million. Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings had a net worth of negative $4.7 million. Cleaver was next.

Other area members of Congress and their average net worths, as estimated by the Center:

▪ Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill: $23.4 million (rank of 38 of 534)

▪ Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt: $3.9 million (rank of 127).

▪ Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts: $2.8 million (rank 171).

▪ Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran: $973,510 (rank 276)

▪ Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder: $48,003 (rank of 484)

▪ Missouri Rep. Sam Graves: $1.7 million (rank 213).

▪ Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler: $8.3 million (rank 75).