News / USA

US Congresswomen Serving in the House, Share Home

Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney, Melissa Bean and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, all Democrats, share a house in a neighborhood near the US Capitol
Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney, Melissa Bean and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, all Democrats, share a house in a neighborhood near the US Capitol

Multimedia

There are more than 430 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, but only 73 of them are women. Many of these women left behind family and friends to represent their districts in the U.S. Congress.  The congresswomen who live together share not only a high-powered career in politics, but also family and motherhood.

It's eight in the evening and the end of a hectic day at the house of Carolyn Maloney, Melissa Bean and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, all Democrats, in a neighborhood near the U.S. Capitol.  For five years, the three women have shared a house and their lives while serving in one of the most prominent and fast-paced careers in Washington.  Carolyn Maloney, a congresswoman since 1993 owns the home they share. She bought it after living alone in an apartment for more than a decade.

"When I bought this house I thought I would like to be like the Founding Fathers. When they first were elected they lived in rooming houses and got together for dinner and shared ideas.  So I looked for two roommates that were compatible and found Debbie Wasserman Shultz from Florida, from the South, and Melissa Bean from the West, from Illinois, and I am from the East, New York, so we are from different sections of the country, but we were all mothers and had been elected officials and have a great deal in common," said Maloney.

The roommates work and live in Washington during the week and commute to their home states and families on weekends.  Melissa Bean and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are married and still have children at home.  Carolyn Maloney has grown children.  Wasserman Schultz says the greatest bonus of having roommates is the friendship - and a warm environment to go back to at the end of the day.

"This is a rough-and-tumble place and it's nice to come back to two people who care about me, who care about my success, who care about the difficulties I might be having either at work or at home and just to have two friends who are a sounding board," said Wasserman Shultz.

In 2007, Wasserman Schultz learned how important it was to have a support group, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She went public with her diagnosis last year, and is cancer-free today.  Carolyn Maloney's own tragedy struck last September, when she learned that her husband of 31 years had died on a mountain trail, during an expedition to the Himalayas.

"My roommates were a source of great comfort and support to me during this time of great loss," said Maloney.  "We are all moms; we are all working moms so we share the challenges of balancing work and family and being there for our children. We share and support each other."

And if last year was an important year in their relationship, this year is crucial for their political careers. All three roommates are up for reelection in the fall, but Melissa Bean says even if one or more of them were to lose, that would not affect their friendship.

"All of us, whenever that happens will have lives beyond Congress and our friendships will endure," said Bean.  "And what's a little surprising about that is that you don't come to Congress to make friends because if you do, you're not coming to be independent and have your own mind and so what a great surprise it has been to make such great friends."

At the end of July, the roommates said goodbye, as they started summer recess and headed back to their home states to gear up for the fall re-election campaign.  They'll come back at the beginning of September and hope to share not only their summer experiences, but also another term in Congress, and another year rooming together.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid