Congresswoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter is one of the most powerful and unique figures in the House of Representatives. The only microbiologist in Congress, Rep. Slaughter was first elected in 1986 and is now serving her 14th term in Congress.
Representing the 25th Congressional District of New York, she works tirelessly on behalf of the district and her constituents know her as a fighter for increased economic development throughout the district.
Over the years, Rep. Slaughter has earned a reputation for her dedication to constituent service while simultaneously being a strong progressive voice on a host of national issues, from the war in Afghanistan and global trade to government reform and genetics.
Congresswoman Slaughter is a member of the House Democratic Leadership. In 2007, she became the first woman to serve as Chairwoman of the influential House Committee on Rules, a position that allowed her to influence nearly every single piece of legislation that comes to the House floor for a vote. She held that position from 2007 until 2011. She is currently Ranking Member of the House Committee on Rules.
Congresswoman Slaughter also serves on the prestigious Democratic Steering & Policy Committee, and is Chair of two congressional caucuses: the Congressional Arts Caucus and the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, of which she was a founding member.
As the only microbiologist in Congress - with a master's degree in public health - Rep. Slaughter has long played a role in the major health and science issues of our time.
Rep. Slaughter, who was first elected to Congress in 1986, holds a Bachelor of Science degree (1951) in Microbiology and a Master of Science degree (1953) in Public Health from the University of Kentucky. Prior to entering Congress, she served in the New York State Assembly (1982-86) and the Monroe County (N.Y.) Legislature (1976-79); and as regional coordinator to then-Secretary of State Mario Cuomo (1976-78) and to then-Lt. Gov. Mario Cuomo (1979-82).
A native of Harlan County, Kentucky, Congresswoman Slaughter has lived most of her life in Rochester's suburb of Fairport. She is married to Robert Slaughter and has three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Louise Slaughter has earned her reputation as a straight-shooter and tough fighter. She has delivered results in her home district, saving jobs at Delphi, bringing high-tech companies to Eastman Business Park, and working to make the district a national leader in advanced manufacturing. Her office is often highly praised for serving her constituents with respect and tenacity, working hard to meet the needs of the people she is honored to serve as a Member of Congress.
Louise has also been a force for change in Congress, launching multiple investigations into public corruption, leading the fight to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, championing women’s rights and public health, opposing unfair trade laws and fighting to stop taxpayer subsidies for corporations that outsource our jobs. She works hard to protect our fighting forces when they are in the field and to help our vets when they return home. Louise takes on the fights no one else will, and gets results.
As the only microbiologist in Congress, Rep. Slaughter has long played a leading role in addressing the major health and science issues of our time. Rep. Slaughter played a leading role in crafting and passing the Affordable Care Act, consistently fighting to make sure the bill was fully paid for and would not contribute to the deficit. Recently, she has received broad support for her authorship of PAMTA, a bill that would preserve seven types of antibiotics from overuse by farm livestock. She is also a leading Congressional expert on genetics issues, and wrote cutting-edge legislation to protect Americans from genetic discrimination, which has now become law. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prevents discrimination by health insurance providers and employers based on genetic makeup. GINA passed the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Bush in May 2008. The bill has been called "the first civil rights legislation for the 21st century."
Rep. Slaughter is the author of the STOCK Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 4, 2012. The STOCK Act outlaws insider trading in the halls of Congress, and puts in place measures to ensure that Members of Congress do not profit from their jobs as representatives of the American people.
As one of the leading advocates in Congress for women's rights, Rep. Slaughter is consistently engaged in legislation and advocacy on both a local and national level. She previously served as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues in the 108th Congress, and continues to serve as co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
Along with Vice President Joe Biden and others Slaughter co-authored the historic Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and wrote legislation to make permanent the Department of Justice's Violence Against Women Office.
She is leading the fight against sexual assault in the military, and organized a hearing on the issue in March 2004 that garnered national attention. Rep. Slaughter authored an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill in FY05 to require the Pentagon to put in place comprehensive policies and procedures to deal with sexual assault in the military.
In November 2004, she introduced landmark legislation to make further changes to end sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in the military. She has continued to reintroduce this bill each Congress.
Rep. Slaughter has won historic increases in funding for women's health. As a member of the House Budget Committee in the early 1990s, she secured the first $500 million earmarked by Congress for breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She fought for legislation guaranteeing that women and minorities are included in all federal health trials and establishing an Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at NIH and was later honored with its "Visionary for Women's Health Research" award, on the ORWH's tenth anniversary. She has also introduced a bill to direct NIH to fund up to six centers nationwide to focus on women's health and the environment, as well as a bill to increase research on the impact of hormone disruptors on women's health.