The economy may have been tanking, but it was apparently a different story on Capitol Hill where the 50 richest lawmakers gained a cumulative $1.4 billion in personal wealth from 2008 to 2009.

Researchers at The Hill scoured the financial disclosure reports for members of the House and Senate. Because the disclosures are not exact -- they fall into monetary value ranges -- the writers used lower-range values for assets, and higher-range for liabilities.

Here's more background from The Hill's Kevin Bogardus and Barbra Kim as well as a full slideshow of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers, and here are the top 10 richest politicians on Capitol Hill:

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): $188.6 Million

The Hill's List Of The Richest Lawmakers In Congress

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