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Washington reflects on loss of Louise Slaughter

News of Rep. Louise Slaughter's death made its way through the halls of the nation's capitol Friday morning. By early afternoon, the flag in front of the rotunda was at half staff. (Photo: ABC)

Washington, D.C. (WHAM) - News of Rep. Louise Slaughter's death made its way through the halls of the nation's capitol Friday morning.

By early afternoon, the flag in front of the rotunda was at half staff.

Slaughter made history when she became the first woman to chair the powerful House Rules Committee. She got there with a combination of Southern charm and a reputation as a tireless fighter.

"She was a Southern belle who represented New York and was a bridge to so many in the Congress," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D), House Democratic Leader. "She could debate fiercely on the floor on an issue and then sing harmony with that same member of Congress that night for charity."

RELATED: Rochester, Congressional leaders offer condolences for Slaughter's death

Pelosi stopped into Slaughter's office Friday afternoon to speak with members of her staff. She said later that Slaughter knew everything she achieved depended on the work of her staff.

"Here she was, a veteran member of Congress, but she was an all-star on the social media," Pelosi said. "That would never have happened without her staff."

After 31 years of working on Capitol Hill, no one needed to say "Congresswoman Slaughter" for others to know who they meant.

They needed only to say Louise.

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