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

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.