Huizenga, Upton, Peters, Meijer.
Though their haircuts may suggest otherwise, some Michigan congressmen are worth a pretty penny, with at least four earning more than twice their $174,000 salaries in investments or side businesses last year, The Detroit News reports.
Unearned income disclosures reviewed by the daily show that in 2020:
- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, brought in at least $752,000
- Rep. Peter Meijer R-Grand Rapids Township, brought in at least $466,000 the year before he took office
- Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, brought in at least $263,000
- Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Holland, brought in at least $230,000
- Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, brought in at least $128,600 (gender gap much?)
Though the surplus sums are certainly enviable, they also reflect a troubling conundrum:
Research has shown that economic background matters in terms of the policy priorities that people bring with them into elected office, said Nick Carnes, a political scientist at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy.
"When you’ve got people making this money without lifting a finger, there’s going to be a disconnect with voters," said Paul Seamus Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation for the good-government group Common Cause. "Because most Americans don’t live that way."
Michigan's money-making reps, however, hardly compare to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who sets the body's agenda and reported more than $66 million in unearned income and assets for last year.