(House of Representatives - April 17, 2018)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages H3384-H3391]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Lewis of Minnesota). Under the Speaker's 
announced policy of January 3, 2017, the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Tonko) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority 

                             General Leave

  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on the topic of my Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, it is with deep sadness that I rise to 
celebrate the extraordinary life of our great friend, colleague, 
mentor, inspiration, and much-respected Congresswoman, Louise 
  We met a long time ago in 1983, when both of us entered as freshmen 
in the New York State Assembly. I understood in that moment of meeting 
that there was greatness there, and it only built beyond what I 
anticipated through the years.
  Louise was a woman of great respect, of great charm, of intellect, 
integrity, and passion for doing the right thing. And, Louise, this 
evening, we just say thank you for the impact that you have had on our 
lives and, more importantly, on the people for whom you have spoken and 
for those who have been impacted favorably by your sound works.
  We call to mind this evening the people of the 25th Congressional 
District of New York, who have lost a great voice in this Chamber, and 
those of other districts' iterations that she represented through the 
years that she served in this remarkable body.
  We call to mind Don and her Rules staff. People who were there as 
committee people assisting her in her every move. We call to mind Liam 
and her crew here in D.C. and at home in the district office, and 
certainly her family and friends, people who have worked with her 
through the years.
  It is a great loss for all of us.
  Louise did everything with charm. When Louise introduced herself to 
newly elected House Speaker Jim Wright as a newly entering Member back 
in 1986, she spoke in that wonderful upstate New York accent, inflected 
with her deep Kentucky roots, which Speaker Wright immediately 
  In her very forward way, she threw out her hand to shake his, and she 
introduced herself to the new Speaker: Mr. Speaker, I'm Louise 
Slaughter from upstate New York.
  And he responded: It's about time upstate New York elected somebody 
without an accent.
  Louise was a great storyteller. She had this way of really 
personalizing an issue and making it so human that you couldn't shake. 
She brought the relevance of issues to human life. There was no better 
storyteller than Louise Slaughter, and she peppered everything with her 
unique and delightful sayings that were such a signature of her 
  She was a person of extraordinary integrity and courage. I remember 
sitting with her and some of our colleagues when Bob passed, her late 
husband. I know how much she loved him and how much he loved her, and I 
cannot imagine the pain she felt in that moment. But I watched her 
steel herself, pick herself up and go on, just the way Bob would have 
been wanted, an expression of the deepest love and respect I have ever 
been privileged to witness.
  Louise had a devotion to public service that was born of the 1960s in 
a truly aspirational moment for our country, an era that gave birth to 
a newfound driven political generation. And I like to imagine Louise in 
that moment listening to the voices of the people, reading news of 
conflict, of hope for racial and social justice, of fights for peace in 
the face of seemingly endless war in Vietnam, and empowering women and 
speaking for our environment, all set with extraordinary music.
  Bob Dylan's ``Blowin' In The Wind'' gave us a series of intractable 
questions about peace, about war, about freedom, at a time when those 
questions were on the lips of every single American. And Louise, 
speaking about blowing in the wind, was never a weather vane 
politician. Amidst the uncertainty and conflict of that moment, she 
forged herself a backbone of steel and never wavered, never blew with 
the wind. She did what was right, and it didn't have to be popular.
  Bob had a love and passion for politics as great as his wonderful 
wife, Louise. They were such a Washington couple. Bob would sometimes 
drive Louise back and forth from Rochester, New York, to Albany. He was 
known as an incredibly thoughtful and brilliant partner who supported 
Louise tirelessly.
  Their activism began with their fight to protect Hart's Woods in 
Perinton, just outside of Rochester. Louise would go on to organize 
Democrats in Perinton, and Bob went on to found the Genesee Valley 
People's Power Coalition, fighting against rate increases by Rochester 
Gas and Electric Corporation.

  Bob and Louise loved their family above all, and tonight I want to 
recognize their daughters--Megan Secatore, Amy Slaughter, and Emily 
Robin Minerva--and thank them and their families for the gift of their 
mother's time and their unselfish giving of her so that she could serve 
our Nation.
  Megan and Amy and Emily, this Nation owes you a debt of thanks for 
the extraordinary spirit and achievement of your parents, our great and 
dearly departed friends, Louise and Bob Slaughter. I have to speak of 
them as a team.
  Louise left her imprint on all whom she served in Rochester and in 
Washington and for a generation yet unborn. Louise's passion and 
foresight live on through the lasting and extraordinary legacy of her 
work and through the service that she provided, knowing that that 
service will continue long into the future.
  She was recognized as a fighter for the common, ordinary person, and 
that is the greatest tribute we can offer her. We say thank you to a 
humble servant who picked up the task and did it masterfully well.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York's 16th 
Congressional District (Mr. Engel).
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend and colleague for yielding 
to me. I think he really just said it all.
  I had the pleasure of knowing Louise for almost 40 years. We served 
together in the New York State Assembly up in Albany, New York, and I 
was senior to her in the New York State Assembly. She ran for Congress 
a few years before I did, and she was senior to me here. I never 
stopped teasing her about that to remind her that she may be senior 
here, but if you put the length of our terms together, I am senior to 
her, and we always got a kick out of that and always laughed.
  One thing about Louise is what you saw is what you got. Louise spoke 
her mind. She wasn't afraid to stand up to power. She was always 
thinking of the good for the country and for New York and her 
congressional district. And there was no other calculation in what she 
did. It was just feeling good trying to help the people.

[[Page H3385]]

  She was outspoken, and she said what was on her mind, and she knew 
more things than many of us have forgotten. She knew them, and she 
remembered them, and she would always have a little quip or a little 
thing to say that would really make you laugh and would make you feel 
like you were with a friend. And she kind of gave you the inside scoop 
on a bunch of things.
  You know, she was the Member of Congress who was the oldest Member of 
Congress, and you would never know it. When I first found out how old 
she was, I thought it was a misprint. She was always young. Until the 
day she died, she was young, young and having a passion and a belief of 
helping people and having a belief in government and government was 
there to do good for people and to be a good tool, not, as some people 
would say, that government is the enemy.
  Louise always believed that government should be and could be and 
would be a friend: a friend to do things for people, for seniors, for 
poor people, for immigrants. If you needed someone to come and help you 
work for any cause that was a right cause, all you had to do was ask 
Louise, and she always said yes.
  Now, our offices back in the Rayburn building are opposite each 
other. So you go down the hallway. If you turn left, you are in my 
office; if you turn right, you are in her office. So I often got to 
meet her when we were going to votes and got to say things to her about 
New York politics, and she really had the in, the scoop. She really 
knew what it was.
  I am going to miss her. I already miss her. I know we have so many of 
our colleagues from New York who are here because all of us together 
have a heartfelt appreciation of what it was to be Louise and to be 
Louise's friend.
  You know that twang she had from Kentucky? She always proudly told 
everyone she was from Kentucky, but her heart was really from New York, 
and I will miss her dearly.
  Rest peacefully, my friend. We all love you.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York's 
Seventh Congressional District (Ms. Velazquez).
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding time to 
me and thank my friends for organizing this tribute.
  Louise was a remarkable woman, an astute legislator, a skilled 
negotiator, and a gifted debater. She will be remembered for all those 
traits. But she will also be remembered for her compassion, her humor, 
and the many kindnesses she extended to all of us.
  I will always recall the many times coming down to this very floor to 
speak and hearing Louise arguing for fairness and opposing policies bad 
for our Nation. She was a fierce orator with a sharp wit. When she 
disagreed with how this House was doing business, she let it be known.

  She was a passionate voice for progressive values. Like a New Yorker, 
she never backed down from a fight. If she wanted to get something 
done, she dug in her heels and fought like hell for it.
  But, as a daughter of the South, she will equally be remembered for 
her amazing wit, her gentle touch, her disarming smile, and her genuine 
friendships on both sides of the aisle.
  What is remarkable is that, at the end of the day, when the debate 
concluded and the votes were taken, Louise was known for sharing a 
laugh with her colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle.
  Someone once described her as ``a combination of Southern charm and 
backroom politics, a Southern belle with a cigar in her mouth.'' She 
truly was larger than life.
  When Louise came to Congress, there were far fewer women in this 
body. She helped lead the way for so many of us who came after, 
breaking down barriers. So many of us owe her a debt of gratitude for 
the trails she blazed.
  As a fellow New Yorker, as a fellow female Member of Congress, but 
most of all, as her friend, I know I will miss her.
  This body is better served for her service, and the U.S. House will 
certainly be a less colorful place without seeing her on the floor, 
leading debates on the rules with her Kentucky accent and her 
commitment to progressive values.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for the opportunity to speak.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York's 
17th Congressional District (Mrs. Lowey).
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, our Nation still grieves the loss of a great 
New Yorker, Louise Slaughter.
  I will never forget when Louise and I, still just junior 
Congresswomen at the time, charged up the steps of the U.S. Senate to 
demand that Anita Hill be allowed to testify against Clarence Thomas.

                              {time}  1800

  Louise never lost that fighting spirit, fearlessness, and commitment 
to justice, equality, and women's rights.
  She broke barriers, becoming the first woman to chair the House Rules 
Committee, and set a strong example of public services and principled 
leadership as dean of the New York congressional delegation.
  As a leading champion of women's empowerment, she proudly represented 
Seneca Falls, the site of the first women's rights convention. It was 
an honor to charge alongside Louise up the steps of the Senate that 
fall day years ago, and during the many battles we fought together for 
America's healthcare, women's rights, opportunity for working men and 
women, and so much more.
  New York, the Congress, and our country have suffered an immeasurable 
loss. I do pray that Congresswoman Slaughter's family and the legions 
of staff who served her may find comfort knowing her great legacy and 
many accomplishments have improved the lives of so many Americans.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York 
(Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney), from New York's 12th Congressional District.
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I thank the 
gentleman for yielding and for his incredible leadership in supporting 
Louise, organizing all of her many elections, and organizing this 
tribute to her tonight.
  No one was a better public servant or fighter for her constituents 
than Louise Slaughter. Her passing is a huge loss for New York, for the 
House, and for all of us. She worked for people right up until the day 
she died. When I first came to Congress, Louise took me under her wing. 
For that, and her friendship, I will be forever grateful. I truly miss 
her dearly, but I am comforted knowing the legacy that she leaves 
  When Louise became a Member of the House in 1987, she was one of just 
25 female leaders. Today, we number more than 100. I have no doubt that 
her leadership and the example she set as the first female chair of the 
House Rules Committee led to more women running for office. She was a 
trailblazer, and she broke down doors for people, for women, and for 
real change in this country.
  While I could go on and on about her legislative achievements, 
including the Violence Against Women Act--the first bill that I worked 
on when I came to Congress with Louise--she was the lead Democrat along 
with then-Senator Biden. It was a transformational bill that addressed 
violence against women. She fought years for it. Many people thought it 
was a personal affair, a family affair, and she fought to making it a 
legal affair that women should be protected in any and every 
circumstance. It had money in it to train police and prosecutors to be 
more sensitive to the needs of women and the violence against them.
  She was a biologist by training and was very proud of this 
background. She was a leader on FDA health issues and was the first to 
introduce genetic information and the Genetic Information 
Nondiscrimination Act that became a central part of the Affordable Care 
Act, that you should not hold preexisting conditions and prevent 
healthcare for people because of preexisting conditions.
  She considered that one of her greatest achievements. She led the 
debate on the floor for the Democrats for the Affordable Care Act and 
its passage. She oversaw that historic debate.
  Her impact extends far beyond the bills that she passed and the 
committees that she chaired. She was the first woman to chair most of 
the committees that she became part of. During her 31 years in 
Congress, she was a

[[Page H3386]]

mentor to many female Members and, because of that, played a major role 
in shaping our party and coalition we are today.
  She was a leader for New York, and she was a leader for Democrats in 
New York. She was one of the first Democrats to be elected in upstate 
New York, and everyone running for office in upstate New York, the 
first person they went to was Louise Slaughter.
  I am proud to have called her a dear friend and mentor and grateful 
to be able to pay tribute to her and to say thank you to her and her 
family. She adored her late husband, Bob, and we all appreciate the 
great impact she had on me, on this Congress, and on our Nation.
  Louise, we miss you. You are in our hearts. Thank you, dear friend.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I now yield to Representative Yvette Clarke 
of New York's Ninth Congressional District.
  Ms. CLARKE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Tonko for 
leading this Special Order hour in commemoration of our dear colleague, 
the Honorable Louise Slaughter.
  Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues on the floor today to honor a 
remarkable woman. Words just couldn't adequately capture the sense of 
sadness I felt after hearing of the loss of Congresswoman Louise 
Slaughter, the dean of the New York delegation.
  Louise dedicated her life's work to the people of western New York 
and, indeed, all Americans across our great Nation. She embodied a 
spirit of strength, wisdom, and grace, and she was beautiful inside and 
out. She represented the very best of the American spirit, our values, 
and our ideals.
  Louise was a trailblazer and was the first woman to serve as chair 
and ranking member of the powerful House Rules Committee. She commanded 
the respect and admiration of all of her colleagues. Having had the 
honor of serving with Louise has enriched my passion for service and my 
commitment to fight for the most vulnerable amongst us.
  Louise was indeed a woman on whose shoulders I stand. The United 
States Congress has lost an esteemed leader, the New York delegation 
has lost a beloved dean, and I have lost a cherished friend and mentor.
  It was my great privilege to serve with Louise Slaughter, and she is 
missed immensely.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Nadler) from New York's 10th Congressional District.

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I am heartbroken at the loss of Louise Slaughter, who 
was a dear friend and a beloved colleague. I first met Louise when she 
was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1982, and Eliot Engel and 
Louise Slaughter and I sat next to each other on the Assembly floor. 
She was only with us in the Assembly for 4 years and then she came 
here. I trailed her by another 6 years.
  She always was a champion of upstate New York, which caused people to 
do a double take when they heard her southern lilt. She was a champion 
of so many things before their time. She was a champion for women's 
rights. She was a passionate leader as co-chair of the Pro-Choice 
Caucus for many years. She protected the freedom of every woman to 
live, work, and start a family on her own terms.
  She was, as you have heard, the chairman at one point, the leading 
Democrat on the House Rules Committee. She was tough, determined, and 
compassionate, and she was a fighter. She was a fighter for the 
vulnerable and those without a voice.
  She was a microbiologist before she came into politics. And she left 
a lasting imprint of that with her Genetic Information 
Nondiscrimination Act when we started to get the ability to deal with 
the genomics. She understood before anybody else the potentials for 
good and for bad, and she wrote and eventually got into law the Genetic 
Information Nondiscrimination Act so people wouldn't be discriminated 
against on the basis of their genetic traits.
  She wrote the STOCK Act, to prohibit Congress Members from trading on 
inside knowledge, which not every Member of Congress was thrilled with. 
But she was more than just her legislative accomplishments. She was a 
gracious and true friend who brought joy and laughter into every room, 
and she had a great sense of humor.
  When she ran for Congress the first time, she ran against an 
incumbent who, being in the minority party at that time, was in the 
habit of voting ``no'' on a lot of things. And she labeled him in the 
campaign as the ``Abominable No-Man.'' So she had a sense of humor 
which other people appreciated, and she will long be remembered for her 
sense of humor, for her decency, her humanity, and her tireless, 
fearless work for everyone.
  The Halls of the Capitol feel diminished without her. And I have 
realized over the last few weeks how lucky we all were to know her, to 
work with her, to call her a friend. We will always miss her, and this 
institution will be diminished by her absence.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I now yield to Representative  John Katko 
from New York's 24th Congressional District.
  Mr. KATKO. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of one of my dear friends 
and colleagues, Representative Dorothy Louise McIntosh Slaughter.
  Congresswoman Slaughter passed away last month at the age of 88 after 
more than 31 years of service in the House of Representatives 
representing the people of Rochester, New York. Born a coal miner's 
daughter from Kentucky, Louise quickly became a true native daughter of 
upstate New York, exemplifying its values and representing her fellow 
constituents with the zeal and tenacity that was unrivaled in her 
storied tenure.
  Becoming the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, 
Congresswoman Slaughter was a pioneer in her advocacy for issues 
ranging from congressional transparency to health protections for those 
with preexisting conditions.
  I had the distinct honor, pleasure, and privilege to work with 
Representative Slaughter on a whole host of issues that affect our 
neighboring communities in upstate New York and the Nation at large. 
Whether it was tackling the opioid epidemic, or ensuring our citizens 
had access to clean drinking water, I am proud, but humbled, to say 
Louise and I worked side by side.
  For Louise, the interest of her constituents and fellow Americans 
rose above all else as she embodied the true meaning of bipartisanship, 
readily reaching across the aisle to people like me, in spite of party 
or public pressure, to achieve the common good.
  Rest peacefully, Louise. I will miss your lovely demeanor and your 
wonderful smile.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I now yield to Representative  John Lewis, 
who represents Georgia's Fifth Congressional District.
  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, Brother 
Paul, for yielding.
  It is hard. It is difficult to stand here and know that Sister Louise 
Slaughter is not here. We came to Congress together, and, from time to 
time, she would call me Brother John. I loved Sister Louise.
  She would talk. She would laugh. She was smart, gifted, and brave. 
She was courageous and sometimes very bold. I will never forget the 
trip to Rochester to be with her and see how the people loved her, 
adored her. I think when God created Sister Louise, he destroyed the 
mold. She was one of a kind, so wonderful. I miss her every single day.
  I thank Brother Paul for doing this. Sister Louise would be very 
proud of him.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I thank Brother John for his comments.
  Mr. Speaker, I now yield to Representative Nancy Pelosi from 
California, our former Speaker, our Democratic leader, our minority 
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I think this may have happened to me at the 
funeral as well when I followed  John Lewis at the podium. What a task. 
I thank the gentleman for being such an inspiration and thank him for 
loving Louise so much as we know she loved Brother John as well.
  Aren't we proud of Paul Tonko and his relationship with Louise, a 
friendship that goes back to the State legislature many years ago in 
New York.
  Louise came 31 years ago to the Congress. He came more recently, but 

[[Page H3387]]

friendship goes back longer. So dear was he to her.
  So here we have Louise--and I don't have a magic minute, so this is 
not an 8-hour proposition in high heels, although I would love to do 
that for Louise any time--but let me just make some wishes. I wish you 
could have all been in Rochester for Louise's memorial service to hear 
her grandchildren talk about her.
  As a grandmother myself, and any time I go to a service now, I think: 
What do the grandchildren think? What do they know about their 
grandmother? Do they know how much their grandmother loved them? 
Louise's grandchildren do and did. Hopefully we will be hearing more 
from them.

                              {time}  1815

  They spoke magnificently about her personally--not so great about her 
cooking, not that day anyway. But, anyway, they just loved her so much.
  She was about the future, but she had a tremendous respect for the 
past as well. So when many of us, Brother John, visited her in 
Rochester, we would go to Susan B. Anthony's home to see where so much 
of women's rights began. She would take us across the borderline of the 
district to see where it all began at Seneca Falls. She took such 
ownership of our suffragettes and her responsibility to carry forth 
their courage and their possibilities for the future.
  She was a Southern belle with a Southern charm and a Northern 
timetable. So you never wanted to waste too much time not giving in to 
Louise because eventually she would have her way. Save yourself some 
time: Whatever you say, Louise.
  She was a beautiful person to serve with. Many of our colleagues want 
to speak about her. I will have another opportunity tomorrow, but I did 
want to add my voice, once again, to our colleagues', as we speak about 
her with great respect, admiration, and affection that is about Louise 
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Eshoo). Representative Anna Eshoo represents the 18th District.
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I thank our colleague and dear friend, Paul 
Tonko, for organizing this Special Order.
  Mr. Speaker, to all of Congresswoman Slaughter's staff that is here, 
we pay tribute to them. She loved them, and she would talk about each 
one of them. I don't know which one is which, but she thought that we 
all knew which one was which. She had all the stories straight. She was 
so proud of them.
  There is so much to be said about Louise. She was a great mother. She 
was a fabulous wife to Bob. She was a microbiologist. She was a great 
grandmother. She represented a district in western New York with a 
Kentucky accent. I don't think that will ever happen again.
  She had a beautiful singing voice. I don't know how many Members know 
that. When our country was attacked and the Congress went out in front 
of the Capitol, it was Congresswoman Slaughter who started singing 
``God Bless America,'' and everyone joined in on that.
  She was not only proud to represent the home of the feminists, those 
revolutionaries, she was one herself, and she was damn proud of it. She 
wasn't an apologist for any of it. She was proud of it because she 
understood that that was what was going to move America forward.
  She loved this House. She had a home on the Hill, and she had a home 
in her district, but she loved this House. She used to stand right 
here. This is where she did her work.
  Mr. Speaker, don't cross Louise. Don't ever cross Louise. She was a 
lady, but I will tell you something, you would feel the wrath of Louise 
Slaughter if you went the other way on her.
  The way I will always remember Louise is that she knew how to love. 
She knew how to love well. She had a fierceness about her in taking 
care of her constituents. They belonged to her, and she belonged to 
them. As the leader recalled, the tribute they paid to her at her 
memorial I think was second to none.
  So, Louise, my friend, no one is ever going to fill your shoes around 
here, but we stand taller because we knew you.
  She showed us the right way to be a friend, the best way to represent 
people, and how to fight tough and fight hard for the right things.
  I loved Louise's accent. When you would see her on the floor, she 
would say: Anna, have I told you this week that I just love you?
  When she spoke, it was as if her words were just a security blanket 
around you. You knew that she meant it. It was tender, it was loving, 
and you knew that you had one of the best partners you could ever have 
in any undertaking.
  I think that Louise is very happy in heaven. I have no doubt that she 
is chairing the big Rules Committee in the sky. I have no doubt that 
when she got to the gate, there was absolutely no discussion whatsoever 
as to whether she was going to take a high place in heaven because of 
everything that she did on Earth.
  So, Louise, be happy there. You earned it.
  We miss her here, but we know that her spirit is with us, it always 
will be, and that we will love her across eternity.
       There was a poet that wrote these beautiful words: So she 
     passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for her on the 
     other side.

  God rest you, Louise.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. 
Kaptur.) Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur represents Ohio's Ninth District.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, what a privilege it is to be with our 
colleagues tonight to join together to pay tribute to our friend, 
Louise McIntosh Slaughter, born in Harlan County, Kentucky, who wrote 
fresh pages in American history.
  There ought to be a statue at Seneca Falls that honors her service to 
America. It was astounding.
  She became one of only 288 women in American history to be elected to 
this House of Representatives, and she, as with all women Members who 
have served as House Members, was vividly aware she was an American 
pioneer, as only 3 percent of individuals who have ever served here to 
date have been women.
  What a marvelous person she was to be with. We had the privilege of 
serving together for over three decades. Her acuity, her passion, her 
perseverance, and her sparkling humor and keen mind brought new life 
and direction to our republic and to every Member here.
  She was a treasured friend and, yes, dean of the New York delegation. 
She also became the first woman to ever chair the exclusive Rules 
Committee, a committee whose unusually round-the-clock schedule 
required members to work through the night and into the wee hours of 
the morning, often past midnight, or convening at the crack of dawn. It 
wasn't an easy job. That committee is a place of grueling endurance, 
and yet she traversed that brutal track day in and day out without a 

  How she could remain crisp on subsequent floor debates on hundreds 
and hundreds of bills and amendments managing thousands of details is a 
vivid testimony to her mental and physical strength which she devoted 
to our Nation.
  She was gracious to a fault. I recall her inviting Members to her 
Rules Committee office always helping Members to feel at home here.
  As the eldest woman in the House with 88 years of experience, Louise 
Slaughter brought wisdom that served America superbly. She was 
dedicated to the working people of our country and to the rights of 
women. She never stopped giving.
  The daughter of a blacksmith who worked in a Kentucky coal mine, she 
was a tireless advocate for workers in Rochester in places like Kodak 
or Xerox, and she stood shoulder to shoulder with her community and 
fought with full soul against bad trade deals that she correctly feared 
would hollow out her community's jobs and in turn the American middle 
class. She was right, and she never gave up fighting for them.
  She coauthored the Violence Against Women Act and fought full bore 
for equal pay for equal work and stood tall her whole career in our 
effort to make our Nation more just and equal.
  Last night, I attended an event at the United States Holocaust 
Memorial Museum, and one of the women docents took me around. I told 
her what happened to Louise, and she said: Oh, my goodness. I am from 
upstate New York. I was her constituent. She gave me a

[[Page H3388]]

ticket when I was a Girl Scout to come to Washington, and look what I 
am doing now, a very high-level person at that museum.
  I said: Louise's gifts keep on giving.
  A grateful Nation thanks Louise Slaughter and her husband, Bob, who 
was at her side for so many, many years, and her beautiful daughters, 
grandchildren, and all the constituents from the greater Rochester 
area. She will be truly, truly missed.
  Through her passionate and loving work for America and commitment to 
liberty, she has helped make America a much more just and equal nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, Paul Tonko, for his love of Louise 
and for always sitting with her and for enjoying and sharing these 
years. He has done a superb, masterful job this evening of paying full 
tribute to her and her life.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Kaptur.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee). 
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee is the Congresswoman from the 18th 
District of Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Tonko so very much 
for yielding. He was a dear, dear friend of Louise.
  I rise today to really highlight the sunshine that Congresswoman 
Louise McIntosh Slaughter really was to all of us. I am reminded of 
that day when those two planes landed in Rochester, New York, her 
beloved community. It was a bright, sunny day, but it was almost 
amazing as the buses drew up to the place of her funeral and the lines 
and lines of Rochester citizens, her constituents, who were lining up 
two by two, waiting to come to honor her.
  That was a true testimony to what Louise Slaughter and Bob, her 
husband, were to that community. They loved that community, and that 
community loved her. Eighty-eight years of youth, because she was 
young, vibrant, and ready.
  I am delighted to acknowledge so much that she did in the areas of 
women's rights and empowerment, the arts, healthcare, the battlefield 
preparedness, economic revitalization, the environment, and social 
justice, and, of course, her work dealing with the issue of genetics 
that, really, a lot of people in Congress didn't even understand, but 
Louise with her expertise in microbiology, there she was educating all 
of us.
  As far as her leadership on the Affordable Care Act, she was one of 
the soldiers and generals who made sure that it passed, and as well her 
great work in dealing with the Violence Against Women Act and the STOCK 
Act to make sure that we, as Members of Congress, did the right thing 
  But I want to emphasize the tutoring that Louise Slaughter gave to 
me. I want to thank her staff who is sitting back in this Chamber, and 
her staff in her home district. But if they came to the Rules 
Committee, either when Louise was a member or senior member or the 
ranking member or chair, her astuteness and genius, her sharp wit, her 
reminding members that she was the chair, that we could learn from her 
if we decided to do so.
  I know personally, as a frequent visitor to the Rules Committee, 
Louise Slaughter was in charge and the first woman chair of this 
powerful committee. I learned fast from her. I cannot thank her enough 
for teaching a new Member at that time of the works and the goings-on 
and the protocols of the Rules Committee and how to do it right.
  She never lost her humor and her wonderful Southern twang. Of course, 
who would be better leading Seneca Falls than Louise McIntosh 
  I thank her for her fight for women's rights and as well for taking 
me to Niagara Falls as a member of the Homeland Security Committee.
  So, finally, as I close, I am reminded that Congresswoman Slaughter 
had an iron fist in a velvet glove, and I loved it. I loved her wit, 
and I loved the fact that she was a true American.
  So my prayer is that the Lord bring comfort to the many people, those 
who Louise knew and those who felt they knew Louise Slaughter, who know 
that a mighty oak has fallen and are heartbroken at her loss. I ask 
that God bless her, may God rest her, and as well may God bless her 
constituents as God blesses the United States of America.
  Farewell, Congresswoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter, you will never be 
forgotten, and you will always be remembered.
  I want to thank my colleague Paul Tonko, for organizing this session 
honoring our shared friend.
  I rise today in remembrance of my dear friend and our beloved 
colleague, Congresswoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter of New York, a 
trailblazer for women, whose powerful voice was quieted this past March 
16, 2018.
  Louise Slaughter lived a long, full, and consequential life and got 
the most out of the 88 years she graced this world.
  She will be remembered in this House for her service to her 
constituents and her colleagues, her formidable intellect, her mastery 
of the legislative process, and her graciousness and kindness to all 
who came in contact with her.
  After serving four years in the New York State Assembly, Louise 
Slaughter was elected to the 100th Congress in 1986 to represent the 
30th Congressional District of New York, which at the time included 
downtown and eastern Rochester, most of eastern Monroe County, all of 
Genesee County and northern Livingston and Ontario counties.
  Reelected to the 15 succeeding Congresses Louise Slaughter carved out 
a legacy of leadership and accomplishments in the areas of women's 
rights and empowerment, the arts, health care, battlefield 
preparedness, economic revitalization, the environment, and social 
  Born in the coal mining town of Lynch, Kentucky and educated at the 
University of Kentucky where she earned degrees in microbiology and 
public health, Louise Slaughter understood the connection between 
public health and a vibrant democracy, and fought to ensure passage of 
the landmark Affordable Care Act.
  In the 112th Congress, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter introduced and 
shepherded to passage Pub. L. 112-105, the ``Stop Trading on 
Congressional Knowledge Act'' or ``STOCK Act,'' which prohibits the use 
of non-public information for private profit, including insider trading 
by members of Congress and other government employees, and requires 
many financial transactions by members of Congress to be reported 
within 45 days.
  Mr. Speaker, since her first years on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman 
Louise Slaughter was an advocate for women all over the world.
  Among her many accomplishments, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter co-
authored the landmark Violence Against Women Act, ensured the first 
federal funding to the National Institutes of Health to research breast 
cancer, and was a co-founder of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
  It is particularly fitting and altogether appropriate that this 
tireless champion of women, children, and families represented an area 
near Seneca Falls, the location of the first women's rights convention 
in 1848.
  The dean of New York's Congressional Delegation, Louise Slaughter was 
the first woman to chair the powerful House Rules Committee, and the 
first woman to serve as Ranking Member of that Committee, and in both 
roles she carried the banner and led the fight for progressive values 
and to make our good country better.
  I will always remember and be grateful to Congresswoman Louise 
Slaughter for her help in my duties representing the people of the 18th 
Congressional District of Texas.
  I worked closely with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and drew upon 
her counsel and assistance to shepherd scores of bills and amendments 
to passage that have been beneficial to my constituents.
  Louise Slaughter was incredibly generous with her knowledge and 
experience and served as a mentor to new members of Congress, including 
  I will never forget that Louise Slaughter's advocacy continued until 
her last days with us, including National Women's March in Washington, 
D.C. on January 21, 2017.
  Mr. Speaker, Louise Slaughter was an iron fist in a velvet glove.
  A native of Kentucky, Louise Slaughter never lost her Southern twang 
and charm.
  Louise Slaughter effortlessly mixed humor with logic to win over 
  And then after disarming you, Louise Slaughter made her move.
  Through her words and deeds, Louise Slaughter worked to make the 
lives of all Americans better.
  Louise Slaughter was a dear friend and her loss leaves a void in my 
  It is my prayer that the Lord brings comfort to the many people--
those whom Louise knew and those who felt they knew Louise Slaughter--
who know that a mighty oak has fallen and are heartbroken at the loss.
  I thank her family for sharing her with us and the country.

[[Page H3389]]


                              {time}  1830

  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield to Representative Barbara Lee of 
California's 13th District.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, first let me thank Congressman Tonko for 
leading this important hour in memory of our beloved friend and 
colleague, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Every time I walk on this 
floor, I still look for Louise. Actually, Paul, right there. The void 
that she has left is just unbearable.
  Her passing was devastating news for all of us here, but I must once 
again send my thoughts and condolences to her beautiful daughters, her 
grandchildren, to her entire congressional district, the State of New 
York, and really, to our entire country.
  Louise was a dear friend and mentor, and she was an unparalleled 
legislator. Of course, she loved her district and fought for them with 
passion, intellect, and dedication.
  I also want to say to Louise's staff how much I know, like Anna said, 
that she loved you and she respected you. I have to say, around here 
poaching is a no-no. Well, Louise poached one of my staff members, and 
I told her. And when we talked about it, I said: I am so happy, Louise. 
You are the only Member that I would be happy about poaching.
  And so thank you, all, because I know she loved you, and I was happy 
to allow Louise to poach my staff because she did an incredible job for 
  Louise invited me to her district several times. I tell you, the love 
and the respect all across her district, I witnessed. I said, if only 
my district saw this, how she brought people together, because I think 
we could learn a lot from Louise's ability to build coalitions.
  I remember when I first came to Congress, yes, 20 years ago--April 
21, it will be 20 years--Louise came up to me and she said: Honey.
  She called everybody ``Honey,'' as you know.
  She said: I want to be your friend, and I want to get to know you.
  She said: I want to invite you to come up to Seneca Falls to mark the 
150th anniversary of the Declaration of Sentiments.
  I tell you, that was quite a remarkable moment for me to be with 
Louise Slaughter, and we became close friends from that day forward.
  She was a trailblazer, the only microbiologist in Congress. She had a 
Ph.D. She was brilliant. Also, watching Louise work late into the 
night, past midnight, but yet she stayed engaged and energized no 
matter how late the Rules Committee worked. She used her role, though, 
as chair to fight for children and for families, for women, for 
communities of color, for those living below the poverty line.
  Another remarkable thing about Louise was her humor. Any Member of 
Congress, just ask anyone, Republican or Democrat, and they will tell 
you a story. They will share a story about her sense of humor. Yet 
Louise was very direct. She did not mince her words. She was a straight 
shooter, and you never had to guess where she was coming from.
  I remember when her dear husband, Bob, passed.
  I got to know Bob because we traveled together several times.
  When Louise came back, she told me: Honey, I couldn't live if I 
didn't have this job. I love serving the people of my district. I love 
helping the people of western New York. I love serving this country.
  This was her life's work.
  Finally, let me just say I not only lost a colleague, but also a dear 
friend. My prayers are with her family and friends, her staff, her 
district. Louise will have a lasting place in history, though, and her 
spirit is with us tonight. She was a woman who exuded grace, dignity, 
intelligence, and she touched and enriched all our lives.
  Louise, we will miss you so much. May you rest in peace. May God 
bless you.
  And again, I thank Paul for this opportunity.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I now yield to Representative Jackie Speier 
of California's 14th District.
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, thank you, and I thank my dear friend, Paul 
Tonko, who loved Louise like no one else in this Chamber, for arranging 
this for us tonight.
  Tom Jones had a song, ``She's a Lady.'' Louise Slaughter was that 
lady, except none of the other lyrics of that song were appropriate for 
Louise. She was a lady who was tough as nails, with a steel backbone 
and a sharp and very funny tongue.
  There are many people I like in our Chamber, few I truly love. I 
loved Louise Slaughter.
  Members come and go and hardly leave a footprint around here, even 
Members who have served long periods of time. That is not true about 
  I still did it today. I walk onto this floor seeking her out. I look 
at C-SPAN and expect to see her presenting another cogent argument on 
the inane closed rule offered by the other side. There is a void in 
this Chamber with her passing, but her footprints are everywhere.
  Louise distinguished herself in so many issues and in so many ways: 
the first woman, as we have said over and over again, to represent 
western New York; the first woman to chair the Rules Committee.
  Now, as an 88-year-old woman, she was chairing this committee into 
the wee hours of the morning, day after day, and never lost a beat.
  She is one of the longest serving Members. She is the only 
microbiologist. She was responsible for creating the first $500 million 
set-aside for breast cancer research. She created the Office of 
Research on Women's Health, and she is responsible for the passage of 
the STOCK Act.
  Mr. Speaker, and to our leader, Nancy Pelosi, I hope that we take the 
time to name the STOCK Act after Louise Slaughter.
  Louise and I spent wonderful evenings together with Paul Tonko and 
Marcy Kaptur at dinner at the National Democratic Club. She kept us in 
stitches. She did not suffer fools gladly, and she would see a phony $2 
bill of a Member on the floor and not mince words.

  She also taught me to speak Southern. She taught me that you should 
say ``bless your sweet heart,'' which really meant, ``move over,'' 
expletive deleted.
  I will always remember her lying peacefully in the hospital, with 
perfectly coifed hair, as only a lady would have, and a faint smile on 
her face. I like to think that she was smiling because she left this 
world with her boots on. She was still fighting for her constituents, 
taking her last breaths with dignity, strength, elegance, and at peace, 
with her three daughters looking on with love and admiration.
  Louise, you are now with your beloved Bob. We all here, including 
your extraordinary staff who is seated here in the Chamber, are 
heartbroken. We are, frankly, still in shock. But we are deeply 
grateful to have known and to love you.
  God bless you always.
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the Congresswoman for those comments.
  I now yield to Representative Alma Adams of North Carolina's 12th 
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor the life and legacy of my dear friend, 
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. I didn't know her as long as many of my 
colleagues, but our brief association was profound and meaningful.
  When I came to Congress 4 years ago, Louise Slaughter was one of the 
first to welcome me. She was always genuine, kind, and personally 
supportive, always pleasant, and she always made you feel really good.
  As a history-making, trailblazing champion of women's rights and the 
only microbiologist, as you have heard, in Congress, Louise Slaughter 
fought for opportunity for all people. The impact of her years of 
advocacy and mentorship and friendship can be seen here today in the 
many colleagues who are standing together to honor her life.
  Louise was a champion for the people from the great State of New 
York, but I like to think of her with Kentucky roots and a Southern 
accent, as a fellow Southerner at heart. She left big shoes to fill, 
but I know she would be proud to welcome in the next generation of 
  So I join my colleagues this evening in expressing my deepest 
sympathies for the family, for the friends, for the staff, and for the 
constituents that she leaves behind. She may no longer be with us on 
Earth, but her spirit and her passion for life will live on for 
generations to come. She clearly made our world much better than she 
found it.

[[Page H3390]]


  Mr. TONKO. I thank the Congresswoman for her thoughts.
  Mr. Speaker, I now yield to the New Hampshire District One 
Representative, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.
  Ms. SHEA-PORTER. Thank you, Congressman Tonko, for yielding. I know 
how close you were to Louise and how much she loved you and you loved 
  I offer my condolences not only to Louise's family, but also to Paul 
and to the entire Chamber, and to me, because I loved Louise, also. You 
hear people using the word ``love'' here. It was very genuine.
  When I arrived in January of 2007, I saw the fire in Louise and I saw 
the honey in Louise. She was a mixture of both. That is what made her 
so absolutely delightful. I saw her as the new chairman of the Rules 
Committee take on our friends across the aisle about so many issues 
here, and she had that fire in her. But then I saw her with the honey 
and the sweetness, and that is why people use the word ``love'' when 
they talk about Louise.
  So I want to tell just a very short story about my first real close 
encounter with Louise Slaughter.
  I had a dear friend in New Hampshire who very much admired Louise and 
wanted to meet her. I said: She is busy. She has just taken over this 
new position. And I am new, but okay, I will ask her.
  So we were walking there, and I called Louise over, and I said: 
Louise, I would like to introduce you to somebody who just has always 
admired you.
  Louise said: Honey, have her come into my office.
  So we did. And Louise sat down on the couch like she didn't have a 
thing to do that day except to entertain us with tea and small talk and 
just her warmth and her vibrancy. My friend never forgot that. I never 
forgot that either. That was Louise, absolutely full of love and, as I 
said, full of honey and also full of fire.
  We miss her very much here. We always will.
  Condolences to her staff, who loved her as well, and I know that she 
loved them. And to the people of western New York, thank you for 
sharing her with us for so long.
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the Congresswoman for those comments.
  Mr. Speaker, now we will hear from the gentleman from Texas 35, 
Congressman Lloyd Doggett.
  Mr. DOGGETT. I thank Mr. Tonko so much for organizing this Special 
Order. I do know how special that Louise was to you and to so many of 
us. She was a dear friend for many years, an outspoken advocate for 
social and economic justice, and she put together a great team, a 
series of teams through her years here, some of whom are on the floor 
today. We salute them, also.
  Louise was funny, she was sometimes a bit conspiratorial, and she was 
a person who just refused to act her age in the best ways possible. I 
was amazed myself, knowing that Louise had been here a few years more 
than I had, to learn what her age was at the time of her passing, 
because she was out powerfully speaking truth to power right up until 
the week before she passed.
  She had the enthusiastic support of her late husband and tremendous 
partner, Bob. Both of them understood the challenges of public service, 
and they withstood repeated Republican assaults with wit and grit. Her 
fierce passion was matched with sincere compassion and kindness.
  Over the years, time and time again, she reached out and helped me 
and helped other Members. I admired her unwavering commitment to speak 
truth and to honor values of acceptance, equality, and justice. She put 
the health and well-being of people first, and she fought tirelessly to 
improve the lives of the people in her community and across this 

                              {time}  1845

  Louise showed just how much one determined woman can do for our 
country. As chair of the Rules Committee, she was involved in every 
major piece of legislation and many minor ones that came before this 
House. And in her service on Rules, it can certainly be said that she 
worked day and night, sometimes all night, on behalf of the people of 
this country.
  She overcame significant resistance to secure passage of the Violence 
Against Women Act, achieving some historic increases in funding for 
women's health. She was a real trailblazer when it came to so many 
issues and inspired so many women to get involved and make a difference 
for our country.
  She authored the STOCK Act to ensure more complete and timely 
disclosure of financial dealings by the Members of this House so that 
no one was trading off the public trust for private gain.
  I think of Louise and look over to this microphone each time a rule 
is brought up in the House setting forth the terms of debate for 
legislation. There is a vacancy in the House, and there is a vacancy in 
our hearts for a tough but generous woman.
  We salute her daughters, Megan, Amy, and Emily; her grandchildren; 
her great-grandchild, all of whom she often referred to and showed such 
great affection for. May it be a source of comfort for each of them 
that their mother was a loyal and loving friend, a fierce and genuine 
public servant, a force to be reckoned with, a champion for so many 
vital causes; and may her very fiery spirit live on with all of us.
  Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, there you have it, just a few of the 
colleagues of Louise Slaughter who shared their sentiments. You can 
tell that she had this lasting touch upon each and every one of us.
  We are made better because we crossed paths in life, we travelled 
journeys together, and she will leave a forever quality in our hearts 
and our souls. And to our champion, our trailblazer, the true voice for 
the weak voice or underheard in government, the pioneer expression, the 
drum major for women, it goes on and on--she earned so many labels--to 
our friend, Louise Slaughter, our colleague, our mentor, rest in peace, 
beloved friend.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise to 
remember my colleague from New York, the former dean of our delegation 
and the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, Louise McIntosh 
Slaughter. Louise was a wonderful soul whose love of public service, 
the institution of Congress, and her home of western New York each and 
every day.
  Louise grew up in a coal mining community in Kentucky as one of 5 
children. Inspired by the loss of her sister to pneumonia as a child, 
Louise chose to study microbiology and pursue a master's degree in 
public health. Her passion for health care inspired her work throughout 
her career as she championed numerous bills and efforts to help the 
American people gain real access to care.
  After obtaining her degrees, Louise met her husband, Robert, and the 
couple moved to New York. While living near Rochester, Louise became 
involved in local community groups and eventually sought to get 
involved in electoral politics. Her long career in public service took 
Louise from the county legislature to Gov. Mario Cuomo's staff, the New 
York State Assembly, and eventually the Congress.
  I had the honor of serving alongside Louise in the Assembly before 
eventually joining her in Congress. She had a perfect blend of southern 
charm and New York hustle, and was a steadfast champion for the people 
of western New York and Americans across the country. I will miss her 
relentless passion, her wit, and above all, her friendship. I know 
Monroe County and the city of Rochester will miss their longtime 
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, Louise Slaughter was a scientist, and she 
approached her work in this House with scientific precision. She found 
that special formula for success: mix an extraordinary work ethic with 
a deep intellect and love of her community, and the result was thirty-
one years of excellence serving New Yorkers in Congress. I was deeply 
saddened to learn of her passing last month, and I will look back 
fondly on the three decades we served together in this House.
  As the daughter of a coal mine blacksmith, Louise grew up around 
hardship and challenge. Later, as a microbiologist and an elected 
official, she made public health and economic opportunity her focus. In 
Congress, she fought for funding for women's health, to keep our troops 
safer in combat, and to crack down on domestic violence. As Chairwoman 
of the Rules Committee, she played a key role in advancing to the Floor 
major legislation, including the Recovery Act, Affordable Care Act, 
Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform, and the Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Act.
  None of us who served with her ever doubted her tenacity or resolve. 
Louise never forgot her roots or the constituents who sent her back to 
Congress year after year. Her loss is a great loss for this House, for 
the people of upstate New York, and for our country. I join in offering 
my condolences to her daughters Megan, Amy, and Emily and their 

[[Page H3391]]