Louise Slaughter’s perseverance has paid off for Western New York. As one of the most influential members of Congress, Louise has helped grow the local economy, protect our troops abroad and veterans at home, improve access to education, pioneer research on women’s health, create opportunities for children of all backgrounds, protect our environment, invest in critical infrastructure, and – most recently – bring the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics to Rochester, paving the way for thousands of good jobs.
Louise was first elected to Congress in 1986. Today she's proud to represent New York's 25th Congressional District, which covers most of Monroe County, including the city of Rochester. She has earned a reputation for her tenacity and dedication to constituent service.
As ranking member of the Committee on Rules – one of the most powerful positions in Congress – Louise has fought to increase transparency and hold our public officials accountable. In early March of 2005, she unveiled a Congressional report titled "America for Sale,” which detailed the unprecedented levels of corruption within Congress. Her report opened the door to the collapse of a right-wing lobbying machine that had ruled Congress and passage of the most important ethics laws in decades.
A tireless promoter of economic development, Louise is rebuilding the jobs that have been lost in Western New York and make Rochester a leader in the next generation of high-tech manufacturing. Louise spearheaded the effort to bring the photonics institute to Rochester – a game changing development for our local economy. She has put forward a plan to end the era of unfair trade giveaways and provide American businesses and workers with a level playing field to compete in the global economy.
As a trained microbiologist with a master’s degree in public health, Louise is the leading expert in Congress on genetics issues and authored groundbreaking legislation to protect Americans from discrimination by health insurance providers and employers based on genetic makeup. Now, Louise is leading the fight to combat antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" – a growing threat to human health that kills at least 23,000 Americans every year. Louise has authored landmark legislation to put an end to the unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal feed – a plan that is being opposed by powerful corporate agricultural interests, despite the strong support it receives from the medical and farming communities.
Louise is also a leading advocate for women’s rights. She co-authored the historic Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and wrote legislation to make permanent the Violence Against Women Office at the US Department of Justice. She is leading the fight against sexual assault in the military, and continues to advocate for the rights of women who serve in our nation's military.
Louise has been a pioneer in establishing federal support for women’s health. As a member of the House Budget Committee in the early 1990s, she secured the first $500 million for breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). And she fought for legislation guaranteeing that women and communities of color are included in all federal health trials by establishing an Office of Research on Women’s Health at NIH.
In 2006, Louise made history when she became the first woman to serve as chair of the influential House Committee on Rules, where she presided over the passage of historic health care reform, during what has been heralded as the most productive Congress in history.
Louise serves on the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee, is the Democratic chair of the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, and co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. She is also the former co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus.
Louise lives in Fairport, New York, where she and her late husband, Bob Slaughter, lived for 57 years. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Today, Louise remains committed to growing the regional economy and taking on the tough fights that matter for hard-working families in Western New York.