Sen. Mitch McConnell has been unanimously elected Senate majority leader by his Republican colleagues three times in a row — first in 2014, then in 2016 and 2018. He’s the longest-serving Senate Republican leader in U.S. history, and he’s hoping to add to his history-making term. McConnell announced in August 2018 that he would be running for re-election in 2020.
McConnell — who has been called “the most conservative leader of either party in the history of the Senate” — could partake in the second impeachment trial of his senatorial career if the House passes articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. McConnell was a senator during the last impeachment trial for former President Bill Clinton in 1999.
- Quick Facts
- What Is Mitch McConnell’s Net Worth and Salary?
- Mitch McConnell’s Background
- Mitch McConnell’s Reelection Bid in 2020
- Birthdate: Feb. 20, 1942
- Net Worth: $13.42 million to $54.56 million
- Current Rank of All Congress Members by Net Worth: 43rd of 530
- Primary Source of Income: Senate salary
- Career Highlight: Longest-serving Senate Republican leader in the history of the United States
According to a financial disclosure agreement McConnell filed in May 2019, he and his wife, Elaine Chao, have a combined net worth ranging from $13.42 million to $54.56 million. The couple has a variety of assets, including bank accounts, trusts, mutual funds, retirement accounts and stocks. McConnell stated that he holds no liabilities worth more than $10,000.
McConnell’s net worth jumped significantly after the death of his wife’s mother in 2007. His 2008 financial disclosure form lists a Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund joint account worth between $5 million and $25 million that was a gift from his relative. In fact, most of McConnell’s wealth comes from joint funds and funds held by his spouse. The value of the assets owned solely by McConnell ranges from $1.01 million to $2.17 million.
McConnell’s primary source of income is his Senate salary. As the majority leader, he earns $193,400 per year.
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After graduating from the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Kentucky College of Law, McConnell started his political career as an intern on Capitol Hill for Sen. John Sherman Cooper. His next political gigs were chief legislative assistant to Sen. Marlow Cook and deputy assistant attorney general to President Gerald Ford. He served as judge-executive of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from 1978 through January 1985, when he began his first term as senator. He has gone on to become Kentucky’s longest-serving senator, and over that time he has had success in killing a number of Democratic bills. McConnell is proud of his conservative record, referring to himself as the “grim reaper” for Democratic legislation.
He is married to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Chao also has a long history in politics — she previously served for eight years as President George W. Bush’s U.S. Secretary of Labor. Chao was also president of the United Way of America and director of the Peace Corps.
Chao is an immigrant who came over to the U.S. in a cargo ship with her parents, The Washington Post reported. Her father went on to found the Foremost Maritime Corporation, which is still a major shipping company and was successful enough to enable the Chao family to make a $40 million donation to the Harvard Business School. Although she has never played a leadership role in the Foremost group, Chao’s family money has enabled her and McConnell to become “millionaires many times over,” according to The Intercept.
Chao has reportedly helped McConnell’s political career in more ways than one. Financially, The New York Times reported that the Chao family gave $1.1 million to McConnell’s campaigns and to political action committees tied to him between 1989 and 2018. Chao has also helped him through her role as secretary of the Department of Transportation by designating an intermediary who would help push through transportation projects in McConnell’s native Kentucky. This, in turn, boosts his appeal to his constituents as someone who is able to secure federal resources for his state, Politico reported.
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McConnell wasted no time in announcing his reelection bid for 2020, stating that he would be running for his seventh term as senator for Kentucky in August 2018.
“I don’t like starting late,” he said at a Republican breakfast in western Kentucky, Roll Call reported.
In July 2019, Democrat Amy McGrath announced that she would be running for Senate to take on McConnell in the 2020 election. In a video announcing her bid, McGrath said that McConnell has “bit by bit, year by year, turned Washington into something we all despise. […] I’m running for Senate because it shouldn’t be like this.”
It remains to be seen who will win the 2020 race, but as it stands, McConnell has made history as both the longest-serving Senate Republican leader in the history of the country and Kentucky’s longest-serving senator. He’s also one of the richest members of Congress, with millions of dollars in assets and no major liabilities.
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Gabrielle Olya joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Gabrielle has an MA in journalism from the University of Southern California and BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania.