Rep. Marcy Kaptur to become longest-serving woman in House

ABC News' John Parkinson talks to the congresswoman about her 35-year tenure.
13:07 | 03/15/18

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Transcript for Rep. Marcy Kaptur to become longest-serving woman in House
Hi I'm ABC's John Parkinson reporting to you live from starts for a halt to US capitol will be joined by congressman Marcy Kaptur soon. But she breaks the milestone this Sunday as the longest serving. Woman to ever serve in the US house represent. Yesterday. House speaker Paul Ryan Annette Wilson well well what it couldn't. Actors we've got throw them. We have the esteemed honor. Recognizing. Marcy Kaptur as she becomes the longest serving woman. In the history of the house of rep. Marcy thank you for your outstanding leadership on the capital high ends for sure for all Americans on behalf of women girls and families across the country. And across the world it's an honor to serve with you. A privilege to call you colleague at joy to call you friend thank you Marcy cat. This is truly impressive milestone I guys say look Marcy. The lawmaker that you are surpassing. Eat if Norris Rodgers. Famously summed up her time in office by saying this. The first thirty years are the hardest and cook. You start it's and you like the work and you just keep bomb. Marcy you had certainly kept done. And joining me now is congresswoman kaptur. Eighteen terms in the House of Representatives Sunday you're breaking the record what does this record means you. At this circuit record really belongs to. My constituents. Into the people of Ohio. And ultimately to the country. The time has gone confused quickly if you can imagine. And I just very grateful to be able to. Celebrate the fact that so many women have now been able to come and serve in the congress. Especially since the 1980. Watermark but in terms of the whole history of the country only 280 women who never served in this congress. I'm the over 101000 that it served and that. Equals about two point 8%. So in terms of the country's history we're making progress but we're a long ago. He took office in 1983 when you first got here to the capitol what was your first impression. Well I was pretty young. Compared to the average age of those who were serving I was the only woman I meaning any committees and subcommittees. Acxiom veterans committee the first media served I was the theory at least one at the hands. And so I had to learn to. Work through the system. When I took me decades it and he Appropriations Committee when I won election there on my third try after a decade of effort. I was one of only. Three women. Nice the one of only two. And it looked very daunting. At that point so I think that I been in places where no woman hands are very few have ever Klein I became the first woman. Elected to the defense subcommittee of appropriations. When I got to appropriations in general there were no women clerks at all so I'd actually live to change. I've lived change and that the transformation of a new generation coming of age after World War II particularly. After the U. He talked about the Vietnam War. You and I we both with the University of Wisconsin I understand you graduated in 1968. That was at the height of the activism there on campus what sort of lessons did you take from Madison to bring the capital. You know what when of the most important lessons I learned was that congress has to have the courage the nation is going to war to have a debate. And devoted effort now the Vietnam War this paper declared my generation lost. Over 58 cells and individuals with so many casualties since the war double that number. In terms of lost lives here in this country. It like tore the country apart the week at my graduation Robert Kennedy was assassinated. I can remember being tear gas from some classrooms. Because of the anti war demonstrations going time. Having accurately thinking had been killed in. Months before and also of course president John F. Kennedy was killed in 1963. So it was a turbulent. Era I also from the university degree in perceive Wisconsin that would be the desire to rebuild there because at that time. Any community sector into the ground and Renault hated the civil rights movements and it is the right thing to do ancient. But K. So fifteen years later in 1983. You took office. What was it that inspired you put your name on the ballot the first time. Unemployment in the region that I represented we've gone through the first Arab oil embargo and we personally saw how the country yes he's huge price. Four. Us not being in the GDP and in this in each. I keep with the desire to correct him and planned to help put people back to work. But that sounds simple but it's very hard to do especially when you are not energy independence. As a country the Atlantic industries that needed to be. Rebuilt. After that we are still about that yes I found it very hard to accomplish things for the country. As hard as we tried even built in the World War II memorial which was my bill. Seventeen years seventeen years the time for stealing 1987. Until dedication in 2004. Think about. Seasons came off the floor from boats to have any idea over the last 35 years how many votes you cast. It's the house's. At this point have to go back and check check the numbers. Oh my goodness and I don't have that number but maybe you do put up a I don't have it handy let you know. I didn't just curious if there's anything that you would count as your your biggest legislative accomplishment or your proudest moment here on capitol. Well some hit big defeats. I think that my opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA back in 1993. Has proven to be correct boat and a correct position. We're still trying to correct. Many of the injustices in that accord not only in our country but in Mexico and Canada. It was the foundational agreement that set economic. Growth path. And that Jihad outsourcing that occurred in our countries still remains an issue for the country I think my opposition to the Wall Street bailout. Being so one sided and the loss of income by African Americans across this country they lost one yeah. I'm here accumulated wealth. After 2008 because of that mortgage crisis that Wall Street precipitated. For Latino Americans they lost about a third of their wealth and everybody else between fifteen and 20% it was a huge. I'll wash out any kid senior can people a sense when there's no justice for Wall Street. We have a lot of work to do here to make this congress much more representative so my biggest fights. I haven't at least one I think I've been a voice for the American people I think had been a voice for economic justice here probably some of my biggest wins. Concluded the passage of the World War II. Memorial legislation not the most visited memorial fifty nearly fifteen million people. Have come to this memorial in our nation's capital is given great closure to so many American families. And I think also the work that I had done in terms of liberty globally trying to actually end of the collapse of the Soviet Union. And the movement of new nations like pulling in hungry. Into NATO our north. Atlantic treaty organization which is the bond into the transatlantic behind nations that are liberty loving peoples so. Some of those are hard fought there intergenerational but I can part of the flow of American history. And I believe that those things camps to make a difference. So now on Sunday you're breaking the record the longest serving woman to ever serve in the House of Representatives. You haven't quite broke the record for the senate understand where chemicals is that record I want you intend to serve do you think that you can. Have another ten years here and take that record counted and he only knows that he answered I don't really look at it in terms of breaking people's records. But rather serving people that I was sent here to serve. And trying to make a difference like captain when we. B I needs the automotive industry or some experts boats and refinancing the Social Security system. I've been. Apart at the Affordable Care Act to provide health insurance over forty million more Americans. And that's working actress so you do what you can you hear in very grateful for every day you're able to make a difference in the lives there. So it's women's history month and yesterday. Leader policies she recognized you with a reception here in the Rayburn room. Elizabeth Dole is there are some other giants in congressional history what does it mean to to have that sort of reception. And also how are you planning to mark this milestone so. Now for self for everyone to calm. It was just overwhelming it was just a beautiful uplifting moment not just for me but for everybody was associated with it gave us a sense of sisterhood and brotherhood as a country. That this is. History that has been achieved. And America did it together it was a veering here unifying moment I'm so grateful to speaker Ryan into. Leader Pelosi for what they sat on the floor on my colleagues on the good news. Who have spoken in both chambers. I'm just very grateful very humbled. By all of that in theory energized you know to keep going in to keep working. So I thank them very very much I think that's Sunday. I local two service a religious service of my own tradition and I'll just be. A citizen with deep crack. Now he talk about that excitement here on Capitol Hill a lot of Democrats pretty fired up about the results and Pennsylvania's eighteenth district this week. What you think about the democrats' chances to seize the majority this fall President Obama believe in his first mid term election last 63 seats when you guys lost majority. Do you think that you see that sort of wave coming. For Democrats two to take the mystery. I think this November will be self correction. For the American people I feel it thank allowed into mainland state in the country. To have all this power in one party's eons in the legislative branch the executive in the judicial is too much the American people know what. And they're gonna make change and I think it'll be for the good of the country we look at kind of williams' incredible. Incredible victory but it. It's a sign that generation. Coming into the congress. Summons if so much to our country reminds me. Tammy shepherd. In the senate in the United States these are young Americans who paid the price of liberty. And I remember when I first came here we are members of the world where two generations are here. Difference and it's happening now history. Populace is too quick grounder rapid fire OK. So a couple of quick questions I understand that Ross perot's interest in having users running me. You regret that not running with him. It was very tempting I have to say that I am a Democrat. Who's your best friend in congress across the. I had some meany. One person is no longer living congresswoman Helen Bentley. Maryland was very close friend mind. I think that I look at Ohio colleagues. Probably. Plan was my neighbor next story. And the two other women in regions like Jackie Butler ski supposed smeared here it's likely sound so there. OK who's going deeper in the NCAA tournament Ohio State for Cincinnati it gets me that question but you know what. Up in my part of Ohio Cleveland to Toledo we have our own T. Congresswoman I really do proceed taken the time heavier. Momentous milestone. And maybe someday he'll join some of these you know statues here in Statuary Hall in an Ohio uses. The longest serving women prospers. So thank you very much. Think you. And thank you all for joining us here at ABC news life will be back with more. Checks out again sometime soon.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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