Top Democratic lawmaker dies after fall at home

Sunday, 18 Mar, 2018

She represented the Rochester area and was the oldest lawmaker in the House. She kept that position even after Cuomo was elected lieutenant governor in 1979.

The New York Democrat was one of the most senior women in the House and the oldest member of Congress. She was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1984, serving two terms.

She was also a founding member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, which promotes reproductive health. In her lifetime of public service and unwavering commitment to working families, Congresswoman Slaughter embodied the very best of the American spirit and ideals.

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said in a statement that while he and Slaughter may have been on opposite sides of the political divide, they nevertheless worked side-by-side for 20 years and he considered her a "partner". The congresswoman may also be credited for saving the lives of USA soldiers after she asked the Department of Defense to look into the controversy of faulty body armor that led to fatalities. However, Slaughter, 83 at the time, told The New York Times, "I don't feel my age".

"To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature". Kirsten Gillibrand in a statement. She chaired the Rules committee from 2007 through 2010.

"Louise never forgot her roots as the daughter of a Kentucky blacksmith", Pelosi wrote.

Slaughter described herself as the only microbiologist on Capitol Hill, and in recent years fought to establish stringent restrictions on the use of antibiotics in healthy cattle - a leading factor, she argued, in the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. Her passing will leave a gaping hole in our hearts and our nation.

Born in Harlan County, Kentucky, the daughter of a blacksmith, Slaughter moved after college with her late husband, Bob, to upstate NY.

Authoring the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits health insurers from increasing premiums based on a genetic predisposition to certain conditions that an insured person or employee may or may not develop.

Among her many contributions to RIT, Slaughter successfully advocated for federal funding to build its Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies and secured a valuable research program there.

"She was a champion for multiple legislative efforts and advocated for our work and Planned Parenthood at every turn".

■ Bob Duffy, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president and CEO: "Louise was a friend and a colleague for years and I am shocked by her passing".

The Democratic National Committee also offered words of tribute. "Louise was a trailblazer". She later fought to expand the law's protection of Native Americans, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people. She was such a tireless advocate and great public servant for our community and region throughout her tenure in Congress.

"[She] was a living icon for women from all walks of life who wanted to get off the sidelines and make positive change in their community", said Jamie Romeo, chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party. "She was unrelenting in fighting for her ideas and the people back home in Western New York". Slaughter was 88 when she died.