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16-Term New York Democrat Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies

16-Term New York Democrat Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies

She was one of the longest serving members of the House of Representatives, who was perhaps best known for previously chairing the House Rules Committee.

Slaughter had more than a passing interest in science; she was a microbiologist, the only one in Congress, according to her House biography.

In Congress, she also supported funding for the Arts. Her loss will be deeply felt.

Her death creates a vacancy at the top of the Democratic side of the Rules panel, which sets the terms of House floor debates.

Louise Slaughter (D) died at the age of 88 after a fall that prompted her hospitalization.

Among her greatest achievements was helping shepherd the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, during which she said she received a death threat and her district office window was smashed with a rock.

She studied at the University of Kentucky, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1951 and a master's in 1953, and was working in Texas when she met Robert Slaughter at a motel pool.

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"For 25 years, the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) has improved the lives of women across the country and improved the way our nation conducts biomedical research", she said when marking the 25th anniversary of the office in 2015.

After graduate school, she and her husband, Bob Slaughter, moved to Western New York, settling in the village of Fairport, near Rochester. And she vowed, "I won't stop fighting until that number is zero". She is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

They married in 1957, and he died in 2014. She believed clean air and clean water for future generations was a critical fight, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to work closely with her for the last decade on legislation to help guarantee that basic right.

Slaughter's Rochester-area seat, redrawn in 2011 to re-elect her, is safely Democratic. She was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1984, serving two terms.

"As the first female Chairwoman of our Committee she was a force to be reckoned with who always brought her spunk, fire, and dynamic leadership to every meeting", Sessions wrote.

It took 14 years for Slaughter to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which bans carriers and employers from using a person's family medical history showing hereditary illness to hire or fire. "Throughout her entire career, Louise worked with people from so many different philosophies and backgrounds, because she was such a genuine human spirit".

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