CORRECTION: An error in the underlying data for Sessions caused his assets to be misstated. The figure was corrected on Oct. 11.
Each year, lawmakers are required to file financial disclosure forms that list assets, liabilities, stock transactions, outside employment, spousal employment and travel reimbursements.
In Alabama, timber production is one of the state’s largest industries, and timberland is one of Sen. Jeff Sessions’s larger assets. In 1999, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) sponsored the Timber Tax Simplification Act, a proposed law to revamp how the federal government taxes timber sales. The tax bill finally passed in 2004 as a Senate floor amendment to the American Jobs Creation Act.
Sessions at the time owned 40 acres of timberland in western Alabama worth between $50,000 and $100,000. In 2009, he inherited from his mother and aunt 1,100 acres of timberland valued at the time between $1 million and $5 million. Last year, he reported earning between $115,000 and $1,050,000 from the sale of timber.
Response by Sessions
Sessions, through his communications director, Stephen Miller, declined a request for an interview. But Miller said in a statement that timber is critical to Session’s constituents and the senator’s support to reform the tax code is in line with his broader goals to promote domestic industry and jobs nationwide. His efforts have had bipartisan support and were necessary for timber states, including Alabama, because of changes in forestry management, Miller said. He said the family timber holdings had no bearing on the senator’s actions.
Sessions’s financial portrait
The Post examined the personal finances disclosed by all members of Congress and computerized by Center for Responsive Politics to show how they manage their assets and invest their money.
Change in estimated wealth
Lawmakers who use riskier investment strategies and/or borrowing to increase wealth.
Real Estate Investor
127 lawmakers hold significant assets in real estate, including office buildings, apartment buildings, undeveloped land and development partnerships. Lawmakers are not required to report the values of their personal residences.
Many assets can be tied to specific industries, such as finance, agriculture or
natural resources. "Mixed" investments are assets not tied to a specific industry.
Assets are lumped into groups such as real estate, stocks,
mutual funds or cash.
NOTE: "Mixed" investments are assets that are not tied to a specific industry. Charted change in annual estimated wealth is capped at 200 percent increase and 100 percent decrease for clarity. See the full methodology here.
SOURCES: Congressional financial disclosure forms, Center for Responsive Politics, Washington Post analysis.