New York Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies

US Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies At Age 88 After Fall

US Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies At Age 88 After Fall

Rep. Louise Slaughter, a folksy NY liberal who championed women's rights and American manufacturing for more than three decades as a Democratic congresswoman, and who became a top lieutenant for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the first and only woman to lead the powerful Rules Committee, died March 16 at a hospital in Washington.

Slaughter was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1986 and was the first woman to represent Western New York in Congress.

"From her authorship of the Violence Against Women Act to her work combating discrimination and bias, Congresswoman Slaughter was a voice for women, diversity, and the belief that through equality and opportunity our country's greatest days lie ahead".

As the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, Slaughter helped shepherd the Affordable Care Act, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.

US Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies At Age 88 After Fall

Liam Fitzsimmons, Slaughter's chief of staff, announced that the longtime congresswoman passed away at George Washington University Hospital after suffering an injury from a fall at her Washington home last week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will set the date for that special election.

That's what happened eight years ago when Rep. Eric Massa, D-Corning, Steuben County, abruptly stepped down in March 2010 amid sexual harassment allegations and a cancer diagnosis.

It's unclear, however, what exactly caused her death.

Slaughter's district included Rochester and Monroe County. "My honest condolences go out to her daughters and grandchildren and to the legions of people who loved and admired her".

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A special election will be held to elect someone to serve out the rest of Slaughter's term, which expires December 31.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called Slaughter a "trailblazer", adding, "It was my great privilege to serve with her and to benefit from her friendship and wise counsel for 30 years".

Dorothy Louise McIntosh was born in Harlan County, in southeastern Kentucky, on August 14, 1929. During her first campaign for Congress, Richard Gere traveled with Slaughter to Rochester to campaign with her because they both opposed US funding for rebel groups in Nicaragua.

Congresswoman Slaughter visited campus to celebrate the university's contribution to the first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, presenting researchers in RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation with copies of her Congressional Record statement of February 25, 2016, commending their role in the discovery.

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She narrowly won re-election in 2014 by 871 votes in a race against Republican Mark Assini, the supervisor of the town of Gates in the suburbs of Rochester. "She will be greatly missed".

"She was a relentless advocate for Western New York whose visionary leadership brought infrastructure upgrades, technology and research investments, and two federal manufacturing institutes to Rochester that will transform the local economy for generations to come", he said.

Politicians, citizens, and friends are sharing their memories of Slaughter; they say she was known for her determination, compassion, and wit. She leaves behind three daughters, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Slaughter loved "the debate and was an outspoken advocate", but always showed respect for those on the other side of the issue - "an example for all Americans that we can disagree without being disagreeable".

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