Congressional Tribute to Rep. Louise Slaughter

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Thursday, April 19th

Lawmakers and others gathered Wednesday afternoon to remember the late Rep. Louise Slaughterin the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.  Speakers included Senator Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.


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Good afternoon. Speaker a leader Pelosi has graciously allowed me to get ahead of her. In the line because we've vote in the senate so thank you Nancy for that and everything else. Now it's a privilege here to speak about my dear friend. Our colleague Louise Slaughter. I used to call are not Louise but as her family knows and practiced areas no easy. At a great love and affection. Icy or three wonderful daughters Megan Amy rob and Louise is seven grandchildren. Great grandson. With the light of her life. What a legacy. Now we easy may have been born in Kentucky. But she was in new Yorker through and through. Should never backed down from a challenge. Never backed away from a fight. And certainly. As we all know was never afraid to speak her mind. That's what made her such a tireless and effective champion. For the people. Of upstate and Western New York. Her absence will be felt not only buyer staff and family and colleagues gathered here today. But also by her constituents. And all of us in the New York delegation. For whom les. Accomplished so much. Of course leaves the tireless fighter was also be loved. She loved Rochester. Rochester loved her. From one corner of Monroe County to the other she was simply and be lovingly known as Louise. When I first ran for the senate Louise volunteered to drive me around to Rochester district. And introduce me to constituents. We've worked together for many years in the house. But I'd never traveled with their inner district since it was far from my own in Brooklyn and queens. Now I expected the usual dog and pony show. Stopping to shake some hands cut some ribbons. Turns out. Wherever we went it was like a family reunion. Folks would joyously embraced easy. Every when I'm that seemed to have a story. More often several. About how Louise had made their lives better. I have one myself. I won my first press conferences in Rochester I occasionally do those you know. I was doing an event. And as typical I lost my reading glasses. My staff was in a Tizzy. Trying to stall event until we could find them I felt a tap on my shoulder. You're choke. Use mind. I did the whole press conference in the weeds its signature red classless. It may have been a simple kindness but knowing Louise. I suspected she was tired of waiting for me to get my act together. And I always thought that Louise had to stay in office as long as she did. To give the rest of us time to catch up there. She treated everybody. Republican Democrat and every one else like they were hurt in. For better or for worse. That's sometimes meant she told you that she thought you were wrong. Usually exactly how and why in six different ways you were wrong. As Louise was probably saying. They don't call me slaughter for enough. I'm sure she's looking down on us right now. Probably a little man I'm taking so long. Wondering what the big boxes have been out. Why were swapping stories about her. When there's so much to be done. Because she knew him intimately. Having grown up in the coal fields of happily share just how high. The stakes war. Just one burden lightened. Could change life. Or transform whole community. In her memory. Let us all commit. To the great work of public service. With the same humanity. Passion. And intensity. That defined Louise is amazing career. And earnings. How many people here. We're hearing Louise Slaughter sing amazing grace. Telling that beautiful rendition that we heard how many times. She moved us to tears. When she wasn't moving us to laughter. They're beautiful personality. What an honor it is my colleagues Roosevelt dolls. Glenn and Paul. And I to have this privilege for us to have this privilege to speak. For other colleagues in the congress thank you. Mr. speaker for bringing us together this afternoon in such a beautiful way. How are we all thought we were Louise is best friends. Everything on us right iconic film many who went. To Rochester. It's beautiful to see Chuck Schumer come back over to the house. To sing the praises of the reason again thank you mr. speaker. Mr. speaker why hasn't it. Great privileges and joys comprised of my speakership was to name Louise Slaughter the first woman chair of the rules committee. How does adding that she was the first woman. But that costs of the excellence. Of her work. Now Lang said that her sister said who's that played. As being young horses but it. Well my older brother. Who was releases page. Used to say to me who's that girl on TV. Do exactly good job on the rules committee she's always work it. Who's that girl that girl as we fly. And here we are amazing race we feel many friends here really. Her fellow Kentucky. Us. The first. Henry Clay. It was a speaker of the house. And it says on there leaders and states. And when he passed away it was a great deal of remembrances of him. No more than we line. The user and states one from Kentucky but new Yorker through and through write your crowning. So akin to blessing for us to be able to be here with negative Amy and mounting. As the police say the best annaly ever. And her beautiful grand baby and she's with me the most beautiful Beijing in the well Haitian didn't you know Louise was given to superlatives. Superlative. And it and today we had the purpose of planting a tree and her on. And you have to know when accomplishment that is. Because when they came to me and said I want to plant a tree in the week honor I sit well on the first anniversary of her passing. Because that's how long it takes to get a tree. We're not Feliz. Friday it was decided that achieve its desired. Today the treaty with plant. Along lecture nation loud moments speakers that they really make it hard to mown lawn. And the treatment. Very tall and something a sight to behold so beautiful. And then when Bruce Fuller it will be it comfort. In the shade. That'll be about. Renewal. And growth. And treason others today spoke of how she her for civic action was to protect a group tried to protecting growth trees. In her district. And here we are planting a tree for her today. Was wonderful to see so many members and a bipartisan delegation. To and I'm chairman sessions. To go to Rochester. It was a beautiful sight to behold filming members but it was also wonderful to see members of her official family from Rochester and animals and all. Paul connects in every way. So here we are in this room with an outpouring of again. For someone we loved so dearly. Rosie talked about went to an end salon. We saw last time I remember that day to us on her earlier and she looks beautiful. She was ready for. Bob Slaughter and the swimmers off. She is a legacy Bob she was Louise on me he was. Chains and one bath water and I let him get the first time I saw and that it's. I was coming to congress. In mid term she was already serving. Hence. I knew her before that cost Mario governor Mario Cuomo. Had found her praises to this. He says certain time face I think you'll understand. Wait until you meet the weeks. Mud on. She's so spectacular. Film and I manner I. I told her I think that I knew of you before because of your reputation described to me. An Italian. By Governor Cuomo was so lovely that Matilda Cuomo was at the service. It in and Rochester as well. Not right tester was not just her home in her district it was with the state of mind that district Rochester. And beyond. It was a hallowed ground for her. In many ways but also that she loved the people she represented but also. Because it was the birthplace. Of women's rights and progress that we felt deep pride in representing the area around Seneca falls. And standing on the shoulders of suffragists. As she took us there after the 150 anniversary. And the senate fall convention. She took a stiff back again a few years later. Four hour bus tour rows of organized when women succeeds America succeeds bus tour was all women and full time go. He was our Frederick Douglass of the event. But more importantly as the police took seriously our responsibility. To empower the next generation of women to stand on her shoulders. Throughout her time in congress she magic staff and other women members. To achieve their full potential. And in doing so she changed the character and the culture of the congress. We've made that congress more diverse more welcoming to women and more representative. Of our nation she encouraged members and staff alike. To know their power and we thank her staff. She loved her staff. She took pride in her staff and I knew that they took pride went missing those community. Or her personal staff. So there's two things someone said. And in conclusion. One is that Louise wasn't moral force. In the context. When you had to make a decision. And you went to speak. Two weeks about it it was without looking into you Amir of your own conscience. Her response. Was always so right. So values based. That you wondered why it was ever a question to begin who have. She was just always. Right there with all that. Brilliant. All the counties. Falsely. Spirituality. I think making people recognize. What they knew was right. And keeping people courage. To do what was right. She was something so it was like looking into your own swollen having to answer for it to have to go face Louise and if you. On the wrong track. Well he wouldn't be there to wrong. That you don't do their teen mom. She and then hired them riding my illusion she firmly believed in the moral responsibility of the congress to expand freedoms. And dance better futures for the American people so. One and she was as sense that chair of the committee and first deal she sent to expand freedom. For women in the workplace by sending down right away. The Lilly Ledbetter act. And she expand freedoms of respecting woman's right to make her own personal decision she expand freedoms working with profound. Claymore actually if she piece of work that way when more. On the violence against women act that women that I champion on each group closer differently than we. Is she all of these things that you did it wasn't so confined to just issues that related to women's rights although that was a priority for her. It also. Created 21. Of her aunt and Rosen talked about her genetic information nondiscrimination. Act which was historic. Only in my book biologist would have come up with the points she she she just she was so determination. Determined as I said as her other service. Save yourself time to what she wants right from the start because eventually you'll end up doing it. She took great pride in her honoring the public trust with their stock trading on congressional knowledge of the stock to. This was. Maybe some considered outside her house but not listened. Intently to. Is it about integrity. I'm hoping we can name that bill for. Scripture tells us. At each one of us has received a special gift employee and serving one another as good stewards. Of the medical grace of god. Will be used her it gets so beautifully and the service but Stillman. As we mourn her passing and we do wring her. To profoundly hope it is a comfort to use it. So many people truly mourning your life and our fan and as well and paying for you for a long time to time. As we mourn her passing list move forward in her name Anderson. These Schumer said and with Hearst do work together to have a better future for all. At least should be left. This country. And this institution. With her press it's. Got blessed America. With her presence and hurt. Him. Well lion mom and the Republican. On the program. Finishing last. Which is exactly how Louise Slaughter would've wanted it. There are. Superlatives is the way that word I think of I think Louise Slaughter there are so many. It's a preloaded apps you can use to describe the kind of person Louise was. First let me just share with you. A sense of what it was like to be on the other side of the aisle. Because I think it speaks to the weeks. I don't see you see how effective. This woman wants. I think it speaks out revered. She was. Formidable. Doesn't even begin to describe. She was so resolute. So certain inner point of view. You can try to convince her otherwise I'd tried many times. I don't think I succeeded ever at. But if you did not have everything straight. If you did not have your homework done forget that you didn't stand a chance. But what I enjoyed so much was Louise can be so war. She. Could be warm and direct in warm and direct. In such effect a space of time here that would be spinning. It I mean this you know you can hardly keep up with their. She'd be up there the rules committee battling it out till three in the fall in the morning. And they need these walk him through here century at all and at 8 AM she'd be given constituents a tour. And then at 1030 she'd be managing a rule on the floor. And all the while she be drawn these one liners actually as a passer by in the hallway. She was saved one liner machine. That build that dome. That roses folks he'll actually go fast track we elect thought Trade Promotion Authority. A hump that was my bills and so we would really really enjoy these spirited debates up at the rules committee. As the years there hours. And for those of us who serve here in those is those you what she's been taking it pretty animated. I mean those arguments can get pretty pretty spice. They can even get person. But Louise Slaughter always came back the next day. The first person. Ready to turn the page. Ready to move on ready to start over. That's one of the most reasons one of the most admirable qualities I think it's it's why you couldn't help but like this woman. Here's one more thing I really remember ever. Away from the diocese. Choose that theory theory gracious kind human being. She knew about people's lives. She always ask you about your fame. She was really polite. To staff. She treated everyone the same. And that really speaks to someone. Who's been given so much who wield the gavel who has a great amount of power. It's a great testament. To the kind of warm Smart. Gracious. Sharp tongue human being that she would place. People like me on our side of the aisle will treasure those months. I would treasure these fantastic debates. That we had on behalf of our points of view on behalf this country up there in the rules committee in over there on the floor. You know we talk a lot these days. A beat too much about being on opposite sides. In between those aisles. There's a lot of scar to issue. A lot. But it is that space in between. That is where our humanity lines. And we all have to go. On the only thing we have to go on release a respect for one another. In our understanding of one another as people. Louise had that. She had this gift. Of respecting you a caring about you while still being so passionate in the pursuit of her principles. No one did more deep in the meaning of these kinds of things than Louise Macintosh slaughter. Absolute pioneer. A grandmother. A mom. A giant. We will miss her very much. And as a result at this time we have a presentation to make. I remember when Nancy called Nancy Pelosi called me. To tell me what had happened to Louise and how she led in the hospital and it was. So clear to me what she meant to you. And it just how you spoken the tone in your voice when you had notified you about her condition. And what leader Pelosi and I did. Was we requested. That an American flag. Be flown above the capital in honor. Of our dear friend and colleague the day she passed. And so on behalf of leader Pelosi and myself. On behalf of the entire house representatives the people's house. It's my privilege. To present this flag. To Louise his family. Thank you. And may god bless Louise Slaughter. Slaughter. I am and I made in Brighton in this district. Where her constituents that's Meltzer and in a moment of weakness and I volunteered to speak with family and could prevent. And tried to get to several drafts of what to say. But then watching C span and I missed it and reading it tributes to him. Explicitly do what everyone's saying. Mean if she was funny and she was ten aces. And I thought. And I thought you really know where unless. If there's nothing like Wednesday. And I can tell you look at. Didn't want it to kind of McKay. Couldn't couldn't have. That should not you. And being in congress and her favorite golden I have to disagree. And humors even love of his eyes. Nice to watch a lot of MSNBC he would. On in her kitchen. And members of come on screen and she'd say they're stars she's my best friend there's Tonka he's my best friend and say trade down doesn't believe that Tim's god is my best friend. I don't think you have on at best. They see it and it. And he loves. Being a member House of Representatives and parry at parties changed majorities changed it would that you still like that movies since my down the State's best job in the world. And we would go to wegmans and you couldn't go to wegmans without fifty people coming up saying house it helps. The family here and help them solve some problem and we on that is a lot of casework. An awful lot of good stack these loved her staff. Managed especially since after my dad passed away they really stepped up in Canada and beyond. Since mom died somebody posts and articles from the hill from 2004. And greeting him for. But the U reporter traveled to Rochester and tutored at months really captured in these ads and on hand for the job. And 60000. That abstinence have you thought about time. Thirteen years ago asks but at retirement. And I'm quoted a story about wrong Alvin Barkley. Alvin Barkley. Who. From Kentucky. He was in the house and senate US Truman's vice president. She told a story that he died on the flirts and it after giving a speech. And I like to that and it's not really true. She said I was not that was announced wonderful way to go of course. Islands and away on the flirt with the sweet strains of sewing most each area backgrounds. She didn't get to nine capital equipment dream. But we sang swing mostly carried at her funeral home. And at one point I turned my sister. I think she. Put and then thirty seconds and it hasn't gotten that. And she would've loved us that it trees you watching. And the fact that it happened back in time again. Yes you can tell that story. To some neat that she's telling him now. It takes years nineteen. Just one thing how much. For. Me. But she. And advertisement. Time. It. Now you can help them find a husband. But it's really thank you so much it meant. The world to her to be here did serve people whom I had a little and to be reelected over and over through. It was everything hurt thank you. Please remain standing. For the benediction. Let us pray that. Dear lord as we close our time together. Send your spirit of peace and consolation. Upon us. Mourn the loss. Of the honorable former chair and ranking member of the rules to me. That we saw. She was a glowing example. An icon of what it means to be a woman for others. Her decades of service. To her New York district into our great nation. Will be long appreciated by those whose lives are forever blessed. By her life's work and dedication. Lord may your angels come to greet our beloved aunt Louise. And made those who mourn her ears because assault with the knowledge that for those who loved you. Everything. Is turned to good. May her soul. And the souls of all the faithful. And the unfaithful departed. Through the mercy of god rest in peace. Me. It's until the official parties and family have departed.