Oldest Sitting Member of Congress, Louise Slaughter, Dies at 88

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. speaks about the Prevention First Act, on the 42nd anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut decision that guaranteed the right to birth control, Thursday, June 7, 2007, at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D – N.Y.), who was taken to the hospital with a concussion earlier this week, has died. At 88-years-old, Rep. Slaughter was the oldest sitting member of Congress.


At 88-years-old, Rep. Slaughter was the oldest sitting member of Congress.

Some of her most notable accomplishments in Congress were:

Slaughter played a prominent role in shaping several major pieces of legislation during her more than three decades in Congress, from co-authoring the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 to shepherding Obamacare through the House as Rules Committee chairwoman in 2010.

Slaughter was a co-chairwoman and founder of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and ensured passage of legislation that mandated women and minorities be included in federal health trials, which at the time was limited to white men.

She was also integral to the passage of other landmark bills during her tenure, including legislation that banned health insurance companies and employers from discrimination based on a person’s genetic information. Slaughter fought for the bill’s passage for 14 years before it was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008.

Slaughter transformed federal ethics rules as the lead Democratic author of a 2012 law known as the STOCK Act that banned federal officials, including lawmakers and members of the president’s cabinet, from insider trading.

Before launching her political career in the early 1980’s, Slaughter was a microbiologist. According to her office, she was the only member with a microbiology background in Congress.


While a staunch pro-abortion Democrat, Slaughter’s tenure and work in Congress were acknowledged by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Speaker Ryan ordered flags at the Capital be lowered to half-mast in honor of Rep. Slaughter.

Rest in peace, Ms. Slaughter.


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