The claim: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a net worth of $29 million
Multiple posts spreading on Facebook claim Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has a net worth of $29 million.
“How in the hell is AOC worth $29 million,” reads an Aug. 4 Facebook post shared more than 400 times. “She was just bar tending (sic) the other day!”
“AOC net worth is $29 million, on a government salary that paid $174k yearly,” reads the post, which was shared more than 170 times. “You better believe she can pay off her own damn student loan.”
But the claim is false. Ocasio-Cortez’s most recent financial disclosure, which was filed in 2021, shows her with assets between $3,003 and $45,000, including a 401(k) plan, and student loan debt between $15,001 and $50,000.
USA TODAY reached out to several users who shared the claim for comment.
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Forbes hasn't reported Ocasio-Cortez's net worth
In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez assumed office as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. In her first financial disclosure, which members of Congress are required to file, she reported she had a checking account, a brokerage account and a 401(k) plan collectively worth between $3,003 and $45,000. (Such federal disclosures report a range rather than specific figures.)
At the time, the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org ranked her among the poorest members of Congress, where more than half of members are millionaires. The salary for members of Congress is $174,000 a year.
The source of the $29 million figure appears to be a report by CAknowledge.com from April that does not cite any sources, other than several references to Forbes, which hasn't investigated Ocasio- Cortez's net worth.
“Forbes has not reported on the net worth of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” Jocelyn Swift, Forbes’ director of corporate communications, told USA TODAY by email.
CAknowledge.com has also shared the supposed net worth of other well-known politicians, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who it claims has a net worth of $28 million, $67 million and $69 million in different places in the same report. In 2021, Forbes estimated Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, were worth about $7 million.
This isn't the first time misinformation has spread about Ocasio-Cortez's supposed wealth. In 2021, a social media post falsely claimed her net worth was more than $1 million. Her financial disclosures at the time showed that wasn't the case.
Ocasio-Cortez has supported a variety of progressive measures, such as raising the minimum wage, forgiving student loan debt and increasing taxes for the wealthy, and she has frequently been the subject of criticism and misinformation by conservatives.
Reuters has previously debunked this claim.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Ocasio-Cortez has a net worth of $29 million. Her most recent financial disclosure shows her with assets between $3,003 and $45,000, including a 401(k) plan, and student loan debt between $15,001 and $50,000.
Our fact-check sources:
Jocelyn Swift, Aug. 11, 2022, Email exchange with USA TODAY
U.S. House of Representatives, Aug. 13, 2021, Financial Disclosure Report
U.S. House of Representatives, May 15, 2019, Financial Disclosure Report
Open Secrets, accessed Aug. 11, 2022, Freshmen in the 116th Congress
Open Secrets, April 23, 2020, Majority of lawmakers in 116th Congress are millionaires
U.S. House of Representatives Press Gallery, accessed Aug. 11, 2022, Salaries
Forbes, Dec. 2, 2021, Student Loans Are ‘Ridiculous,’ Says AOC
Forbes, June 11, 2021, Here's How Much Kamala Harris Is Worth
CNN, Nov. 7, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez to be youngest woman ever elected to Congress
USA TODAY, March 9, 2021, Fact check: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth is not close to $1 million
USA TODAY, July 27, Fact check: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez arrested during protest at the Supreme Court
USA TODAY, June 30, 2021, Fact Check: AOC misspoke when blaming the unbuilt Keystone XL pipeline for a leak
USA TODAY, Sept. 14, 2021, AOC's 'tax the rich' dress: Who qualifies as wealthy? And how much are they getting taxed?
Newsweek, March 12, 2021, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Take Minimum Wage Fight Directly to Joe Biden
Newsweek, Feb. 15, AOC Tells Joe Biden: Cancel More Student Loans to Have 'Any Chance' in 2022
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: AOC has assets of less than $100,000