Lawmakers to honor Slaughter at Capitol

- April 17, 2018

Congressional leaders will gather Wednesday to honor Rep. Louise Slaughter, a month after the New York Democrat’s death.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will all speak at the afternoon service, according to a copy of the program obtained by POLITICO.

Slaughter, 88, died March 16 after being hospitalized for several days following a fall in her home. Slaughter represented western New York for three decades but never lost her signature southern accent, gleaned from years growing up in Kentucky.

Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), four members who were particularly close to Slaughter, will also pay tribute during the program, as will Slaughter’s daughter, Robin Slaughter Minerva.

The memorial service starts at 4 p.m. in Statuary Hall. The service will include a presentation of the colors from the Air Force Color Guard, an invocation delivered by retiring House Chaplain Patrick Conroy and the singing of “Amazing Grace.”

Lawmakers are invited to join Slaughter’s family for a tree planting earlier in the day in her honor. An English walnut tree — a favorite of Slaughter’s — will be planted on the Capitol grounds at 1:30 p.m.

Beloved on both sides of the aisle, Slaughter was known for her advocacy for women's rights and witty retorts to Republicans and reporters alike. Slaughter was the first woman to lead the House Rules Committee and served as the top Democrat on the panel until her death. She was also the only microbiologist serving in Congress.

Several lawmakers attended Slaughter’s funeral in Rochester last month, which included tributes from Pelosi, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others on everything from her debate skills to her famous homemade rhubarb pie.


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