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Clinton, Pelosi, John Lewis to eulogize Slaughter

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Hillary Clinton will speak Friday at the funeral of Louise Slaughter, the groundbreaking New York Democrat who died last week amid her 16th term on Capitol Hill.

Clinton, a former New York senator and who served as secretary of State under President Obama, will be joined by Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.), who are also slated to eulogize Slaughter at Friday’s service, her office announced.

Slaughter, 88, was the first woman to chair the powerful House Rules Committee and was the panel’s ranking member right up to her death, which resulted from a head injury she sustained during a fall in her Washington residence earlier in the month.

The choice of speakers fits a theme of national pioneers. Clinton, in 2016, was the first woman ever to be nominated for president by a major political party, and Pelosi, in taking the Speaker’s gavel roughly a decade ago, became the highest-ranking elected women in the nation’s history — a distinction she still holds.

Lewis is also a national icon. A hero of the civil rights movement, the Georgia Democrat was beaten nearly to death by police during a 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala., that paved the way for passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year.

“It is a source of comfort knowing how many people admired Louise and were impacted by her life’s work,” Liam Fitzsimmons, Slaughter’s chief of staff, said in a statement.

“The service will be a fitting celebration of a truly remarkable person.”

Slaughter’s funeral service arrives as Congress is scrambling to wrap up an omnibus spending package to fund the government through September and prevent a government shutdown on Saturday. The bill is expected to be released Wednesday afternoon, which under normal circumstances would set the stage for a Friday vote on the House floor — a gap adhering to the Republicans’ internal three-day rule. 

GOP leaders, however, have waived that requirement, eying a Thursday vote on the omnibus. The stated reason is to allow the Senate more time to move the package through the upper chamber. Slaughter’s Friday funeral service, though, likely also factored into the decision.

Tags civil rights Hillary Clinton House House Rules Committee John Lewis Louise Slaughter Nancy Pelosi Women's rights

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