Former Congresswoman Marge Roukema dies at 85

AP News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2014 1:30 PM

WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey Republican who spent more than two decades in Congress and sparred regularly with others within her party has died. Former U.S. Rep. Marge Roukema (RAH'-keh-mah) was 85.

A spokeswoman at Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff says Roukema died early Wednesday. The cause was not disclosed.

Roukema represented northern New Jersey's 5th congressional district from 1981 to 2003. She described herself through the years as a strong fiscal conservative. But, on many social issues, she espoused a liberal Republican philosophy long associated with the Northeast.

She regularly broke with her party to vote with Democrats. She supported abortion rights, opposed school vouchers, voted for a 1994 ban on assault weapons, opposed term limits and supported a ban on unrestricted "soft money."