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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Public Health

Rep. Slaughter looks on as President George W. Bush signs the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008Public health initiatives are unique in that they target the health of our communities, our nation, and world rather than the individual. Broad, community-focused health programs are essential to ensure that each American citizen lives in a healthier and safer world. Congresswoman Slaughter has spent her career fighting to improve public health and wellness.

With a Master’s degree in public health, the congresswoman is an expert in the field and has spent her career fighting to improve public health and wellness. Congresswoman Slaughter serves to protect children and families from environmental toxins harmful to development, is on the frontlines of guarding against genetic discrimination, is a watchdog for food safety, and advocates for expanded research and funding into public health and program development.


  • Healthy Environments: As the primary advocate for full federal funding of lead poisoning prevention programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Congresswoman Slaughter fights to protect children and families from environmental toxins harmful to human health and development. She spearheads the charge in Congress to restore funding to childhood lead poisoning programs which have been slashed in recent years on both the state and federal levels.
  • Food Safety: American citizens should not have to worry that the food on their tables is going to make them sick. This is why Congresswoman Slaughter is fighting to keep dangerous, contaminated foods out of the grocery stores and force companies to ensure that products are safe for sale and consumption.
  • Genetic Privacy: With the genomic revolution, it is easier than ever for people and health care providers to access genetic information. Congresswoman Slaughter recognizes that this information must be protected in the same way as other personal information and shouldn’t be used for discriminatory purposes.
  • Research and Development: The congresswoman shares the growing concern that hormone-disrupting pollutants in our environment may explain the rise in occurrences of childhood cancers, testicular cancer, juvenile diabetes, thyroid disorders, learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, and autoimmune disorders over the past 30 years. Despite the progress made in understanding the link between these chemicals and hormone disruption, further research is needed. Congresswoman Slaughter believes that investing in research today could prevent and treat a broad range of diseases and disorders in future generations.


  • Lead Poisoning Prevention: In May 2012, Congresswoman Slaughter and 25 colleagues called on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to adopt blood lead level recommendations proposed by the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (ACCLPP). CDC adopted this new standard in October 2012 and published the first set of statistics with the new findings in April 2013, which showed that 535,000 U.S. children under the age of six are poisoned by lead. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to fight for appropriate funding for childhood lead poisoning prevention programs. Not only did she secure $110 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control after it was cut to $50 million, but she also successfully restored funding for the CDC’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to $15 million after it was cut to $2 million in Fiscal Year 2012. Caution: Lead Hazard
  • Lead Hazard Title X Amendments Act: In 2013, the congresswoman introduced H.R. 1282, The Lead Poisoning Title X Amendments Act, which would modernize the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Program and broaden the categories of those eligible to receive lead hazard abatement grants.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA): Congresswoman Slaughter authored the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which became law in 2008 after a fourteen-year congressional battle. The late Senator Ted Kennedy called GINA the “the first civil rights bill of the new century.” This law prohibits health insurers and employers from using genetic information to discriminate against an individual. For instance, prior to GINA, an employer could refuse to hire or fire someone with a family history of breast cancer or other hereditary illnesses. The congresswoman continues to oversee the implementation of GINA and to monitor the developments in genetics and genomics to determine whether additional policy improvements are needed. You can read more about this important issue in an article written by Louise in the Harvard Journal on Legislation here.
  • Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act (PRTRA): In 2013, there was a massive outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella heidelberg caused by Foster Farms chicken that sickened over 630 people from 29 states and Puerto Rico and sent 38 percent of those sickened to the hospital. In response, Congresswoman Slaughter and her colleague, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, introduced PRTRA. The bill would grant USDA the authority to issue mandatory recalls for meat, poultry, or egg products with any antibiotic resistant or other microbial contaminant the USDA deems dangerous.
  • The DES Education and Research Amendments of 1993: Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was an anti-miscarriage drug commonly used in the early 1990s that was discovered to carry serious health consequences for some women and their children in utero. Stunningly, common use of this compound was ended in cattle nearly 20 years before the same protections were extended to women. Congresswoman Slaughter battled in Congress for the DES Education and Research Amendments, which amended the Public Health Service Act to provide public health education, health professional training, and additional research on the long-term effects of DES. The congresswoman authored follow-up legislation, the DES Education and Research Amendments, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October 1998.

More on Public Health

February 22, 2018 Press Release

ROCHESTER, NY — Joined by local advocates and law enforcement at the YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County this afternoon, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) called on Congress and President Trump to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) ahead of its expiration later this year. Slaughter co-authored this law, which has reduced cases of domestic violence by 67 percent since 1994, and was a lead advocate for its recent reauthorization in 2013 that included immigrant, LGBTQ, and Native American populations.

January 16, 2018 Louise Line

This week, members of Congress head back to our nation’s capital to address looming deadlines and tackle the litany of legislative priorities I believe the congressional Republican leadership left unfinished at the end of last year.

January 16, 2018 Louise Line

This year might have just come to a close, but there are many key issues on our national agenda that are gaining steam as we head into the New Year. Everything from immigration and children’s health insurance to proposed cuts to the social safety net are all on the docket for 2018.

January 16, 2018 Louise Line

Washington conservatives, who control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, have narrowly avoided a government shutdown– for now. At the last possible minute, they crafted a short term solution—a band aid—that kicks the can down the road again and leaves critical initiatives that families across the country depend on in the lurch.

December 7, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) took to the House Floor today to call out Republican leaders in Congress for proposing a two-week continuing resolution that fails to address our nation’s urgent priorities. It has been two months since Congressional Republicans allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Community Health Centers, and the Perkins student loan program to expire with no reauthorizations on the horizon.

December 7, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today asked that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reconsider aid requests recently denied for Cayuga and Monroe Counties.  

December 5, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — House Committee on Rules Ranking Member Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) gave the following statement at a committee meeting this afternoon as House Republican leaders work to bring H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, to the House Floor tomorrow. This dangerous and highly partisan bill would make our communities even less safe from gun violence by requiring each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state, regardless of different permitting standards.

November 14, 2017 Louise Line
What we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend has been difficult for many of us. So many of you have written and called to express your outrage and I want you to know that I stand with you.
November 7, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), the only microbiologist in Congress, today released the following statement on the latest World Health Organization (WHO) guidance that calls on the agriculture and pharmaceutical industries to stop using antibiotics routinely for growth promotion and disease prevention in healthy animals.

October 30, 2017 Press Release

ROCHESTER, NY – While marking National Drug Take Back Day at the Fairport Police Department today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), the only microbiologist in Congress, announced the introduction of The Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act to help address the nation’s overwhelming opioid abuse epidemic. The legislation creates a framework for disposing of unused opioids and other prescription drugs. Over 70 percent of Americans who misuse painkillers obtain them from friends or relatives.