|Chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee|
January 3, 2003
|Cheri Bustos (Designate)|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Connecticut's 3rd district
January 3, 1991
Rosa Luisa DeLauro
March 2, 1943
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Education||Marymount College, Tarrytown (BA)|
London School of Economics
Columbia University (MA)
Rosa Luisa DeLauro (born March 2, 1943) is an American politician serving as U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 3rd congressional district, since 1991. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is based in New Haven, and includes most of that city's suburbs. She is currently the dean of Connecticut's congressional delegation.
DeLauro was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Luisa "Louise" (née Canestri), a New Haven Alderwoman, and Theodore J. "Ted" DeLauro. Her father, and all of her grandparents, were Italian immigrants. She earned her high school diploma from The Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall in Milford, Connecticut. She earned a bachelor's degree from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, as well as separate master's degrees from the London School of Economics and Columbia University.
Before entering the House, DeLauro worked as Senator Chris Dodd's chief of staff and campaign manager, was the executive director of EMILY's List, and coordinated the tri-state area campaign of 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis.
In 1990, four-term incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Bruce Morrison of Connecticut's 3rd congressional district retired in order to run for governor of Connecticut. DeLauro sought the open seat and quickly consolidated Democratic support behind her, earning Morrison's endorsement and prompting the withdrawal of state Representative Mike Lawlor's primary campaign. DeLauro defeated Republican state senator Thomas Scott 52%-48% in a particularly brutal general election, in which Scott alleged that DeLauro had only kept her maiden name to appeal to the region's Italian voters, and state Republican chair Richard Foley referred to DeLauro as "Walter Mondale in drag". The campaign was equally combative over policy matters, with both candidates microphones being cut off during a radio debate after repeated attacks over abortion and capital punishment.
DeLauro has never faced another contest nearly that close, and has been reelected fourteen times, never dropping below 63% of the vote.
She won re-election to her tenth term with 77% of the vote.
DeLauro won re-election to her thirteenth term with 67.1% of the vote against Republican candidate James Brown, a high school math teacher.
DeLauro won re-election to her fifteenth term with 64.6% of the vote against Angel Cadena, who ran against her in 2016 for the same seat.
DeLauro is interested in health policy issues, particularly women's health. She has introduced bills aimed at improving cancer treatment and research and women's health policies. As chair of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Food and Drug Administration, she has been a critic of that agency's failures to protect the public from unsafe foods and medical products.
In May 2006, she was linked in press reports to U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd's potential bid for President in 2008.[clarification needed] On February 2, 2008, DeLauro endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama for President.
On October 3, 2008, DeLauro voted a second time in the House in favor the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. She worked to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. She has urged politicians to be "big thinkers" on the issue of universal health care.
The Wall Street Journal reported on December 17, 2008, that DeLauro was "a top contender" for the position of Labor Secretary in the Obama administration. However, Obama nominated fellow congresswoman Hilda Solis for the position.
Despite DeLauro's strong pro-choice stance, she was a noted supporter of David Bonior in his race against Steny Hoyer for House Majority Whip in 1991, seconding his nomination at a meeting of the Democratic caucus. DeLauro cited their work together during the Iran-Contra scandal, and stated that Bonior's "position as whip will not impact the momentum the choice issue has in Congress right now."
DeLauro supports the availability of abortions in all cases, along with the use of federal subsidies for abortion procedures. In 2006 she voted against HR 6099, a bill that would require abortion providers to follow specific procedures and formalities before performing abortions. In 2006 she also voted against a bill that makes it illegal to transport pregnant women under the age of 18 across state lines in order to obtain an abortion. DeLauro has faced criticism from the Roman Catholic Church, of which she is a member, over her support of abortion rights.
She has voted in support of stronger regulation of firearms in the United States. In 2006 she voted against the Trigger Lock Amendment that ends the use of funds from the Commerce Department FY2007 Appropriation bill to enforce laws requiring guns to be sold with locks. DeLauro voted in 1999 to increase the amount of time given to perform background checks from 24 hours to 72 hours. Earlier, in 1998 she voted to increase the minimum gun crime sentence. On January 14, 2013, she introduced a bill allowing for the voluntary surrender of assault-type weapons with compensation to come in the form of tax credits. She has an F rating from the NRA.
In June 2010 DeLauro voted in favor of a bill for new disclosure requirements for political advertising. She voted against the 527 Reform Act of 2005, an act that put an end to party spending limits for candidates during general elections and again against the 527 Reform Act of 2006. DeLauro also helped to pass the Lobbying and Donation Regulations bill that put in place new regulations about lobbyists and donations for Congress members.
In 2002 DeLauro voted for the Help America Vote Act of 2002. This act provided, from federal funds, $3.9 billion to modernize technology and create new programs to reach a higher standard and to make voting an easier process for disabled citizens, military personnel, citizens living abroad, and first-time voters without valid identification. In 2006 DeLauro voted against the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 that required voters to show a government-issued photo identification before voting.
DeLauro sponsored the Birth Defects Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Awareness Act of 2010 (H.R. 5462). This bill allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a birth defects prevention, risk reduction, and awareness program. The program aims to increase awareness about pregnancy and breastfeeding by starting a nationwide media campaign and provides grants for research on certain exposures that affect pregnancy and breastfed infants. In November 2010, this bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The bill was not voted on by the Senate.
DeLauro introduced HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009.[needs update] This legislation is aimed at reforming the food safety responsibilities handled by the FDA. The introduction of this bill represents a potential conflict of interest, because of her husband's, Stanley Greenberg, relation to agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto.
In August 2011, the 3rd district suffered extreme damage when Hurricane Irene made landfall along the Connecticut coastline. Numerous homes were destroyed in East Haven and other shore communities and many Connecticut residents lost power for days. At the time Hurricane Irene hit the state and during the immediate aftermath, DeLauro was vacationing along Italy's Amalfi Coast and was not anticipated to return to the state until five days after the storm had passed. A Hartford Courant column rated DeLauro's storm response an "F". DeLauro told the New Haven Register she had "no apology for taking a vacation" and being out of state during the storm.
In July 2014, DeLauro introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act, also known as the "SWEET Act", which would impose a 1 cent excise tax per teaspoon of caloric sweetener in soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweet teas (roughly 9 cents on a 12 oz. soda). "This act is intended to discourage excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by increasing the price of these products," according to the text of the legislation. DeLauro and other supporters of the tax argued that it could help address the national epidemics of obesity and diabetes by discouraging consumers from consuming the products and also raise money to fund prevention and treatment programs and with research and dietary education to help reduce the costs of related health problems. The bill was subsequently co-sponsored by several House members and progressed on to the House Energy and Commerce committee for Health and the House Ways and Means committee, but went no further.
The bill was opposed by the American Beverage Association and the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) stating that "People don't support taxes and bans on common grocery items, like soft drinks" and that sweetened beverages "are not the main source of added sugars for children and teens and that a tax on sugary drinks unfairly singles out the industry."
DeLauro is married to political strategist Stan Greenberg.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 3rd congressional district
|Party political offices|
|New office|| House Democratic Assistant to the Leader
| Chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority