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Social Media Post Exaggerates Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Net Worth
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Social Media Post Exaggerates Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Net Worth

Financial disclosure reports aren’t precise, but indicate that the senator’s net worth is well below $81 million.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer particpipates in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 2024. (Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu/Getty Images)

A viral social media post with more than 250,000 views and 24,000 likes claims that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has earned tens of millions of dollars despite having never held a job outside of elected office.

The post is false. New York’s Schumer has spent his entire professional career in politics, but there is no evidence that he is worth nearly $81 million.

Schumer began his nearly 50-year political career shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1974. That year, Schumer ran for and won election to the New York State Assembly, where he served until he was elected to Congress in 1980. After serving in the U.S. House for almost two decades, Schumer won election to the U.S. Senate in 1998—a position he has held ever since. 

Because specific financial data for individuals is rarely available publicly, it is difficult and often impossible to determine any one person’s exact net worth, even for public officials. Some online resources, such as Open Secrets, make rough wealth estimates based on a person’s public disclosures, but others often report net worth figures that are completely made up. The $81 million figure cited for Schumer originates from an Indian website that regularly shares false net worth figures. False financial claims against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which The Dispatch Fact Check debunked last month, originated from the same site.

So, how much is Schumer actually worth? Members of the U.S. Senate are required by the Ethics in Government Act, Senate Rule 34, and Senate Rule 41, to file financial disclosure reports (FDRs) each year they are in office. FDRs require individuals to indicate only which range of values an asset falls within, so they cannot be used to determine someone’s precise wealth. However, they are the most reliable source of financial information for many elected officials.

In his 2023 FDR, Schumer reported $100,001 to $250,000 of savings held jointly with his wife at the Congressional Federal Credit Union, and an additional $15,001 to $50,000 held jointly at Citibank. His only individual holding was an IRA account worth between $1,001 and $15,000, and the only reported liability was a jointly held mortgage worth between $100,001 and $250,000.

Alongside his personal holdings, Schumer reported several accounts belonging solely to his wife, Iris Weinshall, who served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2000 to 2007 and now serves as the CEO of the New York Public Library. The accounts belonging to Weinshall include a New York State retirement and pension plan worth between $260,000 to $775,000, an IRA worth between $1,001 to $15,000, a City University of New York annuity plan worth between $42,000 and $185,000, a New York Public Library tax-deferred annuity plan worth between $450,000 and $1.1 million, and $1,001 and $15,000 in savings held at the Municipal Credit Union.

Schumer’s exact net worth cannot be calculated from these numbers alone, however, his FDR suggests that his total wealth is significantly less than the $81 million claimed by the post. Even using the highest possible estimate for every reported asset value, Schumer and his wife’s combined assets totaled only around $2.5 million in 2023.

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Alex Demas is a fact checker at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in England as a financial journalist and earned his MA in Political Economy at King's College London. When not heroically combating misinformation online, Alex can be found mixing cocktails, watching his beloved soccer team Aston Villa lose a match, or attempting to pet stray cats.