WASHINGTON (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder, a pioneer for girls’s and household rights in Congress, died Monday evening. She was 82.
Schroeder’s former press secretary, Andrea Camp, mentioned Schroeder suffered a stroke not too long ago and died at a hospital in Celebration, Florida, town the place she had been residing in recent times.
Schroeder took on the highly effective elite along with her rapier wit and antics for twenty-four years, shaking up stodgy authorities establishments by forcing them to acknowledge that girls had a task in authorities.
Her unorthodox strategies price her necessary committee posts, however Schroeder mentioned she wasn’t keen to affix what she known as “the nice previous boys’ membership″ simply to attain political factors. Unafraid of embarrassing her congressional colleagues in public, she turned an icon for the feminist motion.
Schroeder was elected to Congress in Colorado in 1972 and have become one in every of its most influential Democrats as she gained straightforward reelection 11 occasions from her secure district in Denver. Regardless of her seniority, she was by no means appointed to go a committee.
Schroeder helped forge a number of Democratic majorities earlier than deciding in 1997 it was time to go away. Her parting shot in 1998 was a e-book titled “24 Years of Home tasks … and the Place is Nonetheless a Mess. My Life in Politics,″ which chronicled her frustration with male domination and the sluggish tempo of change in federal establishments.
In 1987, Schroeder examined the waters for the presidency, mounting a fundraising drive after fellow Coloradan Gary Hart pulled out of the race. She introduced three months later that she wouldn’t run and mentioned her “tears signify compassion, not weak spot.” Her coronary heart was not in it, she mentioned, and he or she thought fundraising was demeaning.
She was the primary girl on the Home Armed Companies Committee however was compelled to share a chair with U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums, D-Calif., the primary African American, when committee chairman F. Edward Hebert, D-La., organized the panel. Schroeder mentioned Hebert thought the committee was no place for a lady or an African American and so they had been every value solely half a seat.
Republicans had been furious after Schroeder and others filed an ethics criticism over Home Speaker Newt Gingrich’s televised school lecture collection, charging that free cable time he obtained amounted to an unlawful present below Home guidelines. Gingrich turned the primary speaker reprimanded by Congress. Gingrich mentioned later he regretted not taking Schroeder and her colleagues extra critically.
Earlier, she had blasted Gingrich for suggesting ladies shouldn’t serve in fight as a result of they may get infections from being in a ditch for 30 days. In response to her official Home biography, she as soon as informed Pentagon officers that in the event that they had been ladies, they might at all times be pregnant as a result of they by no means mentioned “no.″
Requested by one congressman how she may very well be a mom of two babies and a member of Congress on the identical time, she replied, “I’ve a mind and a uterus, and I exploit each.″
It was Schroeder who branded President Ronald Reagan the “Teflon” president for his means to keep away from blame for main coverage choices, and the title caught.
One among Schroeder’s greatest victories was the signing of a family-leave invoice in 1993, offering job safety for care of a new child, a sick baby or a father or mother.
“Pat Schroeder blazed the path. Each girl on this home is strolling in her footsteps,” mentioned Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., who took over from Schroeder as Democratic chair of the bipartisan congressional caucus on ladies’s points.
Schroeder mentioned legislators spent an excessive amount of consideration on contributors and particular pursuits. When Home Republicans gathered on the U.S. Capitol steps to have fun their first 100 days in energy in 1994, she and several other aides clambered to the constructing’s dome and hung a 15-foot purple banner studying, “Bought.”
A pilot, Schroeder earned her means via Harvard Legislation College along with her personal flying service. Schroeder turned a professor at Princeton College after leaving Congress, however mentioned politics was in her blood and he or she would proceed working for candidates she supported.
For some time, she taught a graduate-level course titled “The Politics of Poverty.” She additionally headed the Affiliation of American Publishers.
She later moved to Florida, the place she continued to dabble in politics. Amongst different actions she served on the board of the Marguerite Casey Basis.
Schroeder was born in Portland, Oregon, on July 30, 1940. She was a pilot who paid for faculty tuition along with her personal flying service. She graduated from the College of Minnesota earlier than incomes her legislation diploma in 1964. From 1964 to 1966, she was a subject legal professional for the Nationwide Labor Relations Board.
She is survived by her husband, James W. Schroeder, whom she married in 1962. Additionally surviving are their two youngsters, Scott and Jamie.
Former Related Press author Steven Okay. Paulson contributed to this report.