Louise Slaughter

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Louise Slaughter

Template:TOCnestleft Louise McIntosh Slaughter is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 25th district of New York.

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 13th term in Congress.[1]


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.[2]

Democratic Party influence

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.

Congresswoman Slaughter also services 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.[3]

Women's rights

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.[4]

Nicaragua connection

One of the mysteries of the 1986 campaign that mercifully has drawn to a close is the almost total silence on the subject of Nicaragua.

The downing of the plane carrying Eugene Hasenfus, the pictures of child victims of contra land mines, and embarrassing revelations about gun running seem to have had no effect on the electorate.

But one House candidate in upstate New York, Louise Slaughter of Rochester, spoke out about Central America and Contra aid. Slaughter, served in the office of Lt. Gov. Mario Cuomo and the State Assembly, went toe-to-toe with incumbent Republican conservative Rep. Fred Eckert, a one-time ambassador to Fiji, on the matter. He agrees with Ronald Reagan about Contra aid. Slaughter thought the aid dead wrong.

In the Eckert-Slaughter contest (which Slaughter won), the issues were the issues, and Nicaragua was one of them. Slaughter, instead of being defensive about military spending, came out strong against waste, fraud and abuse in the Pentagon - criticized her opponent for saying no to an inquiry into the lost $27 million Congress sent in "humanitarian aid" in 1985 and yes to $100 million in military aid.

Most contenders steered clear of Nicaragua. It was a subject in which a popular president was known to be emotionally involved, and Democrats walked in fear of the "soft on communism" charge.

Slaughter and Eckert discussed Nicaragua in every one of their seven debates. Slaughter supported the Contadora peace process, and took the bold position that few Democrats dared enunciate: The Nicaraguan people have the right to decide what government they want.

Contra aid was not by a long shot the big question in the campaign, but the local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America had been raising the alarm of a Vietnam-type engagement, and mothers and fathers of 18-year-olds voiced their fears to Slaughter.

What may have been the most modest political action committee on the scene, the Priorities PAC, formed by Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., and actors Robert Foxworth and Ed Asner had a budget of $60,000. Their hope was to put Nicaragua on the political map by replacing pro-Contra votes with antis. Their clout had to be almost exclusively moral, since, due to the fact that the PAC was formed only in August, they could make contributions of no more than $1,000 each to candidates.

But they recruited volunteers for the cause.

In Slaughter's case, one volunteer was pure gold. He was actor Richard Gere, who was making his debut as a political activist. He was the draw at a fund-raising event that brought in $10,000, and went door-to-door in Greece, N.Y., with Slaughter to speak earnestly about the terror and death he had seen on a trip to Nicaragua he made with Dr. Charles Clements, an American doctor and author of "Witness to War."

When Cindy Buell of the Priorities PAC offered to recruit volunteers, she found that most of the eligibles were already enlisted in Slaughter's corps of 3,800. The candidate called it "the best field operation in the country."

Priorities PAC was involved in some 38 races, and was on the ground in 10 states. In none was contra aid a headline-strength issue. The president in his mad dash around the countryside in search of and in aid of Republican senatorial candidates, made just one reference to it - he mentioned Democratic Rep. Barbara Mikulski's failure to support the rebels as another reason to vote against her in the Maryland Senate race.[5]

ROCLA connection

Louise Slaughter was very close to the Rochester Committee on Latin America.[6]

Sandinista mayor

In October of 2009, the new mayor of El Sauce, Rosita Valle Vargas of the FSLN (Frente Sandinista) visited Rochester. She was the third consecutive El Sauce mayor to visit here; all of them through the generous assistance of the Paul Wenger Fund for Peace Through International Understanding of the First Unitarian Church.

Mayor Rosita Valle Vargas had a busy schedule in Rochester and Western New York, which included talks to solidarity groups (ROCLA, Ciudad Hermana, the Rochester Labor Council and the Buffalo Latin America Solidarity Committee) political advocacy (meetings with Eric Massa’s staff, Louise Slaughter’s staff and Mayor Robert Duffy).[7]

DSA support

In 1987, Democratic Socialists of America helped in Slaughter's election campaign. [8]

Rochester DSAers helped elect progressive Louise Slaughter...

Fred Ross, Jr. connection

New York rep. Louise Slaughter was also the first Congressmember whose election was assisted by Neighbor to Neighbor, the national grassroots organization opposed to U.S. military aid to Central America headed by United Farmworkers veteran Fred Ross, Jr. Ross learned from the UFW how to target swing districts and representatives, and his group helped build the grassroots field campaign that brought Slaughter her narrow victory.

Less than a year after Slaughter’s election, Ross and other UFW alums helped elect Nancy Pelosi to Congress. Ross and Paul Milne used “house meetings,” a strategy that Fred Ross, Sr. taught to Cesar Chavez, who then used it to build the UFW. Pelosi attended 120 house meetings in only 60 days, and after taking office joined Slaughter in leading the fight against military aid to El Salvador’s right-wing government, and to Nicaragua’s contra rebels.[9]

Democratic Alternatives

Ithaca Socialist Jan. 1987

In 1987 Louise Slaughter was a proposed speaker at the Democratic Socialists of America organized Democratic Alternatives Conference.

Anti Clarence Thomas delegation

In October 1991 Patricia Schroeder led a delegation of fellow congresswomen, including Louise Slaughter, Barbara Boxer, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nita Lowey, Patsy Mink and Jolene Unsoeld to the Senate to urge a delay of the vote on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the supreme court.[10]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Louise Slaughter in her successful House of Representatives run as candidate for New York.[11]

Peace Pledge Coalition

In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Democrats.com Medea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor Renewal David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.

Louise Slaughter signed the letter.[12][13]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Louise Slaughter. [14]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Louise Slaughter was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[15]

Populist Caucus

The Populist Caucus was founded on February 11, 2009 in the United States House of Representatives by Democrat Bruce Braley of Iowa. The caucus originally included 26 other Democrats in the House, including Louise Slaughter.

Leading with Love


Leading with Love was an event to celebrate 5 years of the Marxist led National Domestic Workers Alliance. It was held in Washington DC, DC, November 14, 2012.

Members of the Host Committee included Louise Slaughter.[16]

Anti-Fracking legislation endorser

On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.

The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.

The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerry Connolly,Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.

The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.[17]

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.

Signatories included Rep. Louise Slaughter.[18]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Louis Howard, was assigned as contact for Rep. Slaughter. In June it was Ann Hood and Ellen Henry.[19][20]

Working Families Party

The Working Families Party backed Slaughter in 2014.[21]

ARA PAF endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Louise Slaughter in 2014, also 2012.[22]

H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act

The 2015 Bill H.R. 1534 would reduce the number of nuclear-armed submarines operated by the Navy, to prohibit the development of a new long-range penetrating bomber aircraft, to prohibit the procurement of new intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Sponsor: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3rd district). Co-sponsors were Reps James McGovern, Mark Pocan, Peter DeFazio, John Conyers, Raul Grijalva, Michael Quigley, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sam Farr, Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Donna Edwards, John Lewis, Jared Polis, Louise Slaughter.[23]

Letter on US-Mexico security Co-operation


From Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice;

Urgent alert from our friends at CISPES- Los Angeles Chapter : "The US plans to expand cooperation between Mexico and the United States to unfairly and inhumanely target Central American migrants and asylum seekers at the upcoming "Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America".
We asked Representative Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach to author a letter to Secretary Tillerson calling for to put the human rights of Central Americans and all migrants and refugees front and center, and he's circulating a letter now. To have the biggest impact possible we need as many Members of Congress as possible to sign this letter!
Call or email your representative today and ask them to join Mr. Lowenthal as a co-signer.

Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) led 37 Members of Congress, including top Democrats from the Armed Forces, Judiciary and Appropriations committees, in sending a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise red flags about “suggestions that the United States deepen security collaboration with Mexico along its southern border [with Guatemala] due to evidence that Mexico’s Southern Border Program has led to wide-spread human rights violations and abuses against migrants and asylum-seekers.”

Signers: Don Beyer (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington, DC), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) , Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James McGovern (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), John Yarmuth (D-KY).[24]


Planned Parenthood

Slaughter received $1000 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.

EMILY's List

Slaughter has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.


The following are past and present staff:[25]

External links



  1. official Congressional bio, accessed August 15, 2011
  2. official Congressional bio, accessed August 15, 2011
  3. official Congressional bio, accessed August 15, 2011
  4. official Congressional bio, accessed August 15, 2011
  5. articles.philly.com/1986-11-07/news/26093467_1_contra-aid-nicaragua-humanitarian-aidWhither Nicaragua? Contenders Steered Clear Of Subject In Elections, philly.com, BY MARY MCGRORY Posted: November 07, 1986]
  6. [A Call to Conscience: The Anti-Contra War Campaign By Roger Craft Peace, Univ of Massachusetts Press page 135?]
  7. Update on the America's, A bi-monthly publication of the Rochester Committee on Latin America, Winter 2010
  8. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1987, page 18
  9. [on.org/news/index.php?itemid=7930, BeyondChron. Nancy Pelosi Deserves Chief Credit for Health Care Victory, by Randy Shaw‚ Mar. 22‚ 2010 ]
  10. PWW October 12, 1991 page 1
  11. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  12. War Is A Crime .org, Peace Pledge Coalition
  13. [http://www.democrats.com/peace-pledge Democrats.com. Sign the Pledge for Peace petition. Bob Fertik August 19, 2007
  14. [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  15. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  16. LEL webpage, accessed Jan. 21st, 2012
  17. Polis website. Polis, Cartwright Introduce Legislation to Hold Fracking Industry Accountable,
  18. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  19. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  20. PDA June 2013 Educate Congress Digest
  21. ABOUTallsfairinsportsandpolitics ~ #AFiSP Part 32: On New York 14 Tuesday Oct 2014
  22. PAF
  23. Washingtonwatch.com, H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act
  24. CISPES June 15, 2017 Trump Administration's Agenda at Conference in Miami Provokes Controversy and Opposition
  25. http://www.legistorm.com/member/278/Rep_Maurice_Hinchey_NY.html. Accessed 12/14/2011