Since West Virginians despatched his spouse to Congress 20 years go, Charlie Capito has realized to count on the surprising, particularly in relation to the congressional schedule.
“These individuals, they alter their schedules loads,” Capito stated, as Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., returned to work within the U.S. Senate someday final month. “I’m sitting right here for example of the schedule adjustments, as a result of we had been supposed to come back dwelling yesterday.”
Adapting to alter has been the hallmark of a congressional partner for Charlie Capito, who labored in finance for greater than 40 years.
This month, he’ll be a part of one other change when he takes over as president of the Congressional Club Museum and Foundation, a social and philanthropic group for spouses of members of Congress and different high-ranking federal officers. Charlie Capito would be the first man to ever to steer the membership.
The membership was established in 1908, eight years earlier than Montana Republican Jeanette Rankin was the primary lady elected to Congress in 1916.
Since then, the membership has targeted on being a spot the place spouses of Senators and Home representatives can spend time whereas they’re in Washington, D.C., and discover help for the way to stability their private lives with the workload and public scrutiny that comes with federal public workplace.
Charlie Capito first engaged within the membership throughout a new-member orientation in November 2000, a couple of week after Shelley Moore Capito was elected to the U.S. Home.
“I take advantage of the time period secure area, and I don’t know if it’s the best time period or not, however of us go to with one another, and so they’re all in the identical scenario,” Charlie Capito stated.
Along with a selected type of spousal help, the membership additionally hosts philanthropic occasions, though a lot of their annual occasions had been canceled this 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlie Capito stated.
The group established the custom of the U.S. president laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery, and the membership hosts an annual luncheon honoring the primary woman. The membership additionally focuses on serving underprivileged kids dwelling within the District of Columbia, Charlie Capito stated.
When West Virginians first elected Sen. Capito to Congress in 2000, it was throughout a unique period of her private life, in addition to that of Congress. She was the primary lady West Virginians despatched to each chambers of Congress along with her election to the Home and, later, along with her election to the Senate in 2014.
Because the Capito kids matriculated, graduated and began households of their very own, the variety of ladies in Congress elevated some, as 126 ladies — 25 within the Senate and 101 within the Home — served in Congress in 2020, according to Center for American Women and Politics.
Of the 126 ladies serving in Congress in 2020, 105 had been Democrats and 21 had been Republicans. In 2021, Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, can be sworn-in as vice chairman of america, the primary lady to be elected to federal govt workplace within the 244-year historical past of america.
“I believe we’re reflecting what America seems like,” Sen. Capito stated. “I believe that’s vital. I’m notably proud this 12 months that we added extra Republican ladies, as a result of we’ve been woefully brief on that.”
Sen. Capito stated it has been her expertise that ladies in Congress usually tend to work throughout get together traces and co-sponsor every others’ payments primarily based on benefit. She stated it’s been an incredible expertise for her to slowly however certainly get extra feminine colleagues within the Senate.
“It’s been a enjoyable transition for me,” she stated.
Likewise, it’s been a transition for the Congressional Membership, which Charlie Capito describes as being “scrupulously bipartisan.”
Charlie Capito stated he was glad to be a member of the membership till somebody merely requested him just a few years in the past if he wish to be concerned in a management position there. He stated he’d be joyful to assist in any manner he might.
“A couple of months later, they known as and stated, ‘Nicely, you’re on the slate,’” Charlie Capito stated. He additionally was the primary man to serve on the membership’s management board.
Charlie Capito has expertise serving in such capacities. He’s a member of the West Virginia College Board of Governors, and he’s been a member of the Charleston Space Medical Heart Board of Trustees for nearly a decade.
The Congressional Membership president place is alternated between Democrats and Republicans. Charlie Capito is succeeding Pat Engel, spouse of Home International Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., because the membership’s president.
Charlie Capito stated his focus as president can be easy: Ensure the membership continues to do what it does greatest and take a look at the way it can evolve with the occasions.
“I’m a steward of the membership’s terrific heritage and historical past, and, going ahead, I definitely don’t have any agenda,” Charlie Capito stated final month. “That is what we’ve carried out for 112 years, so how will we adapt like different locations are adapting? You take a look at the household dynamics, and now there are a number of professionals in every family … some individuals transfer to [the District of Columbia] and a few don’t. It’s simply type of a membership having a look at itself, however I definitely don’t have an agenda, per se.”
Capito stated that if he did have an agenda within the nation’s capital, it could be working as his spouse’s greatest supporter, typically touring along with her to the district to remain in a small condominium they lease there for when the Senate convenes.
Since Charlie and Sen. Capito’s kids, Charles Jr., Moore and Shelley, are grown and dwelling with their very own households in Washington, Charleston, and New York, respectively, the senator and her husband don’t need to kind out issues similar to faculty and actions schedules towards their work schedules like they as soon as did when Sen. Capito served within the West Virginia Legislature between 1996 and 2000.
What they do deal with collectively is ensuring they’re simply as profitable as a household as Sen. Capito is as a public servant.
“What we each realized over time … is that, for higher or worse, a high-profile political place is inclusive of your entire household,” Sen. Capito stated. “Whether or not it’s attending to do all the enjoyable issues or whether or not it’s to have among the actually robust points are available entrance of you — Charlie and I are a workforce. We all the time have been.”