In 2007, New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter became the first woman to chair the Rules Committee. Her position on the committee is made clear by a thick black book on the bookshelf. It is the guiding manual for the House of Representatives: the Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual, and Rules and Practices of the House of Representatives, all in a single volume. A cartoon on health care, also on the bookshelf, alludes to the Rules Committee’s role in passage of the Affordable Care Act. The microscope and double helix symbolize Slaughter's degrees in microbiology and public health, which she became interested in after her sister died from pneumonia as a child. The shelf is also scattered with portraits of her family, most recognizably of her husband, Bob Slaughter, the first husband of a Member to be represented in an official portrait.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “Louise McIntosh Slaughter,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2015/2015-079-000/ (January 29, 2022)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515