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

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization 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.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid