Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

US Rep. Slaughter, 88, dies after fall: statement

US Rep. Slaughter, 88, dies after fall: statement

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

Morelle remembered her "enormous charm and great intellect".

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday in a statement that she was "heartbroken by the passing of the congresswoman", just one of several top Democrats who used the term "heartbroken" to describe their feelings about Slaughter's death.

Slaughter, a Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 1986.

Breaking with Democratic Party leaders, she argued that global trade agreements did little more than drain the United States of manufacturing jobs. Fitzsimmons said on Wednesday that she'd sustained a concussion but no broken bones.

Initially one of just 29 women in the House of Representatives, Slaughter was a flinty advocate of women's access to health care and abortion.

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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. Rep. Slaughter pushed for several prominent pieces of legislation such as the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act. The measure, which passed in 2008, was created to prevent insurance providers from rejecting coverage for healthy people predisposed to cancer and other diseases. The announcement of her death came just a day after Fitzsimmons backed Slaughter to make a recovery, calling her as "tough as nails". "Our hearts go out to her family, friends and all those whose lives her work personally touched".

Rep. Tom Reed, a Corning Republican, also issued a statement praising Slaughter. "Although we sat on different sides of the aisle, I have always considered her a partner and have the utmost respect for her".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who served in the House with Slaughter, called her "a giant".

Slaughter was unable to pass restrictive antibiotics legislation.

She was the only microbiologist in Congress and a former blues and jazz singer. In 2015, President Barack Obama announced a $1.2 billion, five-year plan to identify emerging "superbugs" and increase funding for new antibiotics and vaccines.

Slaughter was born in the small city of Lynch, Kentucky, which is in eastern Harlan County. Robert died in 2014. "May it be a source of comfort to Louise's three daughters, Megan, Amy and Emily, and her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchild, that so many around the country mourn with them".

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