Markey’s Malden water bills suggest he is there infrequently, paying only the monthly minimum for service. Mortgage documents on his two homes tell an ambiguous tale, with both homes listed at various points as his primary residences. House records show that he and his staff have spent less annually from his official budget on travel over the last four years than any of the state’s other House members, which could suggest he travels back to his district less often.
At the same time, longtime neighbors in Malden, and local politicians, say Markey is part of their community and is active in using his position to push local development and public works projects. The question has never become a big enough problem to prompt a strong electoral opponent, a further indication that it may not be viewed as a major concern to those in his district.
There is no rule or law that dictates how much time a congressman must live in his or her home district. House members typically leave their families in their districts during the week and return when House business concludes Thursday evening. But in recent decades, the pressure on lawmakers to live in their hometowns has increased.
Markey has been able to leave signs of his presence in both places. Around Washington, he and his wife, Susan Blumenthal, a health care consultant and former high-ranking official in the Clinton administration, appeared frequently for a time in the society pages. But Markey also makes it into local newspapers in his congressional district, cutting ribbons and speaking at City Council meetings.