"I've served with at least half of the women who have ever served," Kaptur said Wednesday in a reception hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in honor of Kaptur and Women's History Month. Kaptur was first elected in 1982, and has served 18 terms under six presidents.
After 35 years, two months and 15 days, Kaptur will surpass the record set by the late Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, a Republican from Massachusetts. Rogers served in the House for 35 years after succeeding her late husband, Rep. John J. Rogers.
In the bipartisan celebration, Pelosi called Kaptur an "icon," a "trailblazer" and an "example to the rest of us."
The California Democrat said, "Marcy is a constant, unwavering voice from America's heartland."
The daughter of a Polish-American working-class family in Toledo, Kaptur became the first member of her family to graduate high school and college.
Rep. Maxine Waters. a California Democrat, said Kaptur is one of the "hardest working members" in Congress, and one of the most "dedicated advocates" for her constituents.
Waters said she thinks about Kaptur every evening as she leaves the Capitol: "On my drive, I pass by the marvelous, beautiful World War II national memorial, which would not exist but for the tireless work of Congresswoman Kaptur."
Kaptur first introduced the legislation to build the memorial in 1987.
Former Rep. Connie Morello, a Maryland Republican, called Kaptur's record a "landmark achievement" and spoke of the importance of the #MeToo movement and the push to put more women in top positions in boardrooms and organizations.
"For all of those women who are carrying America into the 21st century," Kaptur said, "how wonderful it is to be on this journey."
The packed reception was also attended by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Republican former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Polish Ambassador Piotr Wilczek.