The 10 top stocks owned by Congress

Lawmakers have millions of dollars invested in these big names.

By Kim Peterson Nov 17, 2011 5:43PM
Image: US Capitol (© Donovan Reese/Getty Images)Remember all the outrage about whether General Electric (GE) paid federal taxes last year? There weren't too many complaints from Congress about that, even though the country probably could have used that money.

Maybe this explains the silence: GE is the No. 1 stock investment for members of Congress, with 75 of them holding shares, according to CNBC.

The top GE investors were Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who was in for at least $1 million, and Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who was holding anywhere from $600,000 to $1.3 million in stock.

Our elected representatives tend to favor well-known blue chip names in their portfolios, choosing tried-and-true stocks over riskier ones. Here's the rest of CNBC's list:

2. Procter & Gamble (PG)
Members invested: 62
Top investor: Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, with anywhere from $7 million to $35 million in shares held.

3. Bank of America (BAC)
Members invested: 57
Top investor: Frelinghuysen again, with around $1 million invested.

4. Microsoft (MSFT)
Members invested: 56
Top investor: Kerry, with $1.8 million to $2.55 million invested.
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5. Cisco Systems (CSCO)
Members invested: 56
Top investor: Kerry, with $600,000 to $1.3 million invested.

6. Pfizer (PFE)
Members invested: 51
Top investor: Kerry again, with $752,000 to $1.5 million invested.

7. Intel (INTC)
Members invested: 47
Top investor: I'll give you one guess. Kerry, with $600,000 to $1.3 million invested.

8. Wells Fargo (WFC)
Members invested: 45
Top investor: This is getting ridiculous. Kerry, with $350,000 to $765,000 invested.

9. AT&T (T)
Members invested: 44
Top investor: Kerry with $1.5 million to $2 million invested.

10. Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Members invested: 42
Top investor: Republican Rep. John Carter of Texas, with $1 million to $5 million invested.

"Why aren’t congressional members required to put all of their stock holdings into a blind trust?" asked investing researcher Barry Ritholtz after seeing the list. "Why can’t insider trading by Congressional members be banned? How can elected officials do 'the people’s business' when they are too busy running around trading on the votes they are about to cast?"

Nov 18, 2011 9:35AM
It's a sad sign of the times when people want to invest in the same ways the congress (whom most think are idiots) invest.  But they know that due to insider trade information there is a good chance that those congressional traders know something the average trader doesn't.

And I have to agree with the 'one persontrying' comment on how much complaining that is done about how serving the public doesn't pay that well.  I do know a number of federal employees who don't have great salaries, however the perks are very good.  Also the congressional pay is $174 K per year, while the national average is about 40 K per year.  Making more than 4 times the national average - just in salary and not counting the things like healthcare, etc. perks that go along with the positions pretty much puts an end to that argument for me.

Term limitations, no free healthcare, no more pensions for life, etc. need to end - nobody else gets them so why do our elected officials?
Nov 18, 2011 12:40AM
I am still seething after watching the 60 MINUTES episode on congress and senators LEGALLY being able to trade on insider information gleaned from working on their various committees.
Nov 17, 2011 10:48PM
now you know the true reason behind the bailouts  THERE OWN PORTFOLIO"S,  Damn crooks in washington also
Nov 18, 2011 9:34AM
With all of these JOHN Kerry investments,   I wonder just how many, committees and bills John has reclused himself from due to CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.   YOU CAN BET    NONE.   As I am sure he just stands back and says ITS NOT ILLEGAL,    Why is that?  Congress makes the RULES by which they rule.  NOT THE US PUBLIC .   NOT THE DEPT OF JUSTICE.  They are exempt by RULE.  Their own rule.     LETS VOTE THEM OUT.
Nov 18, 2011 9:41AM
John Kerry is in reality in investment banker,  pretending to be a US Senator, working tireleslly for his investments and returns.     CAN YOU SMELL INSIDER TRADING???
Nov 18, 2011 9:25AM
That CBS 60 spot on Congress, Stock trading as a conflict of interest to the public.   Was something.      If you really want to see the facial , and body language of SOMEONE TELLING A COMPLETE LIE,   Check it out.   Nance Polosi"  Congresspig delux caught in attempting to sell the Stupid US Public another one of her grand lies.        HER STOCK BUYS are completely legal, but very much CORRUPTED, with Insider trading and information.    She should be arrested and take up,  Martha's prision cell.
Nov 18, 2011 7:25AM

Govt. leaders prosper on their votes, should be the title to this story.  This country has gone to hell. These crooks are the ones that vote on all sorts of bills, that affect businesses & corporations.  Of course, their "above the law" when it comes to insider trading.  I used to think latin american countries, as well as asian countries were  corrupt.   Hugo Chavez is no worse than these crooks we have in Washington.  Face it people, most of us don't have a clue or the wherewithal to fight any of this, & they know it.  They are fed inside information, they vote on bills before the general public knows the info, & they make millions on that information.  Flat out thieves, of course they are "above the law", so that's the way it is. 


  it's time for OCCUPY WASHINGTON, to start change in this country.

Nov 18, 2011 2:00AM
isnt it funny the same people in the senate and congress who call social security an entitlement are collecting that money themselves., when are we going to get fed up with these people how can millionares represent your average working person. they cant they say if your unemployed take a job for 7.dollars an hour. i live in a basic suburb and my property taxes are over 8,000 a year. the state and local workers have free health care and retirement benefits that increase  every security which we paid into  since we started working now is going bankcrupt. time to get serious and bring these people down to earth. they want all these benefits but who is supposed to pay for this.when our local politicians start representing all the people that live in there district not just the people that work for their town maybe we can lower our taxes. oh so maybe the same people wont keep getting elected.oh well
Nov 18, 2011 9:31AM

The US CONGRESSIONAL Corruption is so in our faces, all of the time.      Any you know what.  THE SOLUTION is so in our faces come November 12.  Vote them ALL OUT OF BUSINESS.     

Nov 17, 2011 9:43PM
Dan - Slave labor of taxes

Not only is John Kerry making tons on his own -  His Wife Is Teresa Heinze Kerry -- That's Heinze as in the ketchup you put on your fries.  Very Old and big money in this great but re-adjusting country - he only keeps his job as a hobby of further investing and building wealth.  My Guess.
Nov 17, 2011 11:28PM

As bad as tea pot dome or watergate.  Any wonder why they don't want to raise taxes on rich. 

With 14 million jobs lost forever, housing prices falling till 2015, and $708 trillion in worthless paper money call derivatives.  If the Justice Department doesn't get a Special Investigator on this within the week, we also know who gets bribes.  You decide what metal is worth more gold or lead.

Nov 18, 2011 9:45AM
John Kerrys entire terms in office are a COMPLETE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.   To the GENERAL TRUST of what he is voting on and writing into law.      Thank you CBS for finally,  going beyond your reporting limits and bring this HOT ISSUE TO THE OCCUPY LEFTIES.
Nov 17, 2011 9:20PM
I didn't realize public service made these guys so rich.. wow look the value of Kerry's portfolio. Apparently I went into the wrong field of work. Someone has got ask how are these public leaders multimillionaires?  
Nov 18, 2011 9:28AM
OCCUPY   should be all over this, and this,  Nancy Polosi and John Kerry stock market insider tradings should be the battle cry.     To fix this rigged corrupt system,  is something that Occupy , if they were to pull it off.  would get my vote.
Nov 18, 2011 11:40AM
i would be more interested in seeing who bought and sold solyndra BEFORE they went bankrupt.
Nov 18, 2011 9:00AM
OWS needs to check how many of our elected officials are in the 1%
Nov 18, 2011 1:28PM

Congress is the most corrupt organization in the US!


 Insider trading by Congress is legal, Lobbyist buy off Congressional staff they stuff the bills with corrupt laws, 2/3rds of Fortune 500 Companies pay no income tax, Ultra wealthy are leaches and pay less in taxes than a person making $30K.


It is just simple math... The pigs are in the trough and looting until the American people throw these Criminals out!

No one goes to jail for the Mortgage meltdown. why! Because members of Congress and everyone who looted the Middle Class was / is in on the Crime! Put at least 90% of the Criminals AKA Congress / Lobbiest and the people that bought Washington isn Jail! Just like with the other organized crime .. Use the Recco Laws and reposses their assets. Washington is now the world's capital of criminal activity!! Democratic and Republican policy mean nothing. The "NEW DEAL is Steal as much as you can as fast as you can!!! The lacies AKA Congress are the doormen! Shame on all of these criminals

Nov 18, 2011 12:50AM

I have to respect Ron Paul for investing in gold, the rise in the price of gold only reflects how weak our currency is, along with the rest of the civilized world's.

At least investing in gold isn't contributing to, or participating in crony capitalism in the almighty stock market.


Ron Paul 2012

Nov 18, 2011 12:22PM
I can't help wondering what Martha Stewart is thinking.
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