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WORLD NEWS | Feminist pioneer and former congressman Pat Schroeder dies

The LATAM Airlines plane hit the vehicle on the runway (Image: Twitter / @AirCrash_)

WASHINGTON, March 14 (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder, a pioneer for women’s and family rights in Congress, died Monday night. She is 82 years old.

Schroeder had recently suffered a stroke and died at a hospital in Florida, where she lived, said Andrea Camp, Schroeder’s former press secretary.

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For 24 years, Schroeder has used her sharp wit and antics to take on the powerful elite, shaking up staid government institutions by forcing them to recognize women’s roles in government.

Her unorthodox methods cost her key committee positions, but Schroeder says she’s unwilling to join what she calls the “good old folks” club? Just for political points. Not afraid to embarrass her congressional colleagues in public, she became an icon of the feminist movement.

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Schroeder was elected to Congress in Colorado in 1972 and became one of its most influential Democrats as she won easy reelection 11 times from her safe district in Denver. Despite her seniority, she was never named committee chair.

Schroeder helped build several Democratic majorities before deciding in 1997 that it was time to leave. Her parting shot in 1998 was a book titled “24 Years of Chores…and the Place Is Still a Mess”. My political life, ? It documents her frustration with male rule and the slow pace of change in federal institutions.

In 1987, Schroeder tested the waters of the presidency, launching a fundraiser after fellow Colorado Gary Hart dropped out of the race. Three months later, she announced she would not run, saying her “tears represented compassion, not weakness”. She said her heart was not in it and she found the fundraising degrading.

She was the first woman on the House Armed Services Committee, but when the committee chaired F. Edward Hebert, D-La., organized the control panel. Schroeder said Herbert didn’t think the committee was right for women or African-Americans, who each held half the seats.

Republicans fumed after Schroeder and others filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s televised college lecture series, accusing him of receiving free cable time equal to the House-mandated Illegal gift. Gingrich became the first Speaker to be condemned by Congress. Gingrich later said he regretted not taking Schroeder and her colleagues more seriously.

Earlier, she had blasted Gingrich for suggesting women should not go to war because they could get infected from spending 30 days in a ditch. According to her official House biography, she once told Pentagon officials that if they were women, they would always be pregnant because they never said “no.”

Asked by a member of Congress how she could be a mother of two and an MP at the same time, she replied: “I have a brain and a womb, and I use both.”

It was Schroeder who dubbed President Ronald Reagan “Teflon” for his ability to avoid blame for major policy decisions, a name that has stuck to this day.

One of Schroeder’s biggest victories was signing the Family Leave Act in 1993, which provided job protection for caring for a newborn, sick child or parent.

“Pat Schroeder blazed the trail. Every woman in this house is following in her footsteps,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., who succeeded Schroeder as the bipartisan Congressional Women’s Issue Democratic chair of the caucus.

Lawmakers focus too much on contributors and special interest groups, Schroeder said. When House Republicans gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to celebrate their first 100 days in office in 1994, she and a handful of aides climbed the building’s dome and hung a 15-foot red banner that read “Sold”.

As a pilot, Schroeder earned success at Harvard Law School for his flying services. Schroeder became a professor at Princeton after leaving Congress, but she said politics is in her blood and she will continue to work for the candidates she supports.

For a while, she taught a graduate course called “The Politics of Poverty.” She also leads the Association of American Publishers.

She later moved to Florida, where she continued to dabble in politics.

Schroeder was born on July 30, 1940 in Portland, Oregon. She is a pilot who pays for college through her flying services. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, then received her law degree in 1964. From 1964 to 1966, she was a field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board.

She married James W. Schroeder in 1962. The couple have two children, Scott and Jamie. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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