Rosa Luisa DeLauro was born on March 2, 1943 in Wooster Square, Connecticut, to parents who both were New Haven aldermen. DeLauro attended the London School of Economics in 1962-63, graduated from Marymount College (in New York State) in 1964 with a degree in history and political science, and earned a master’s degree in international politics from Columbia University in 1966.
In the 1960s DeLauro worked as a community organizer for President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. In 1976-77 she was an executive assistant to New Haven mayor Frank Logue, and then served as Logue’s campaign manager in ’78. DeLauro then took a job as campaign manager for Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd in 1979-80, and subsequently served as Dodd’s chief of staff from 1980-87.
In 1987-88, DeLauro was the executive director of Countdown ’87, a lobbying organization with ideological ties to the Institute for Policy Studies and dedicated to ending U.S. military aid to the Contra rebels who were fighting Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s Marxist Sandinista forces.
In 1989-90, DeLauro served as executive director of the political fundraising organization EMILY’s List. When her local congressman, Democrat Bruce Morrison, ran for governor of Connecticut in 1990, DeLauro entered the race for his vacated congressional seat, representing the Third District of Connecticut. With the connections that EMILY’s List gave her to celebrity money and political favors, DeLauro raised more than $500,000 for her campaign and won the election by a 52-to-48 percent margin. She has been re-elected every two years since then and has long been a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Among the leading financial backers of her political campaigns have been the American Association for Justice, the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, UNITE HERE!, the National Education Association, and the SEIU.
In 2003 DeLauro served on the advisory committee of the political networking group Progressive Majority.
In 2006 DeLauro, a supporter of the organization Catholic Democrats, spoke out against the Catholic Church when it threatened to deny the sacrament of communion to lawmakers who favored abortion rights. Catholic Democrats “have decided to stop letting others define us,” said the congresswoman.
During the four congressional election cycles between 2004 and 2010, DeLauro’s campaign transferred $1.2 million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). During that same time period, the DCCC paid DeLauro’s husband, Stanley Greenberg, approximately $1.9 million for services rendered by his polling and political strategy firm. In short, DeLauro took money that had been donated to her congressional campaign and moved it to the DCCC, which in turn paid Mr. Greenberg and his firm — the net result being that much of DeLauro’s original campaign cash ended up in the DeLauro-Greenberg personal household. (Greenberg served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton from 1991-1994, and for Senators Al Gore and John Kerry in 2000 and 2004, respectively.)
In May 2007 DeLauro was a guest speaker at an event sponsored by Agenda For Shared Prosperity, a project of the Economic Policy Institute.
From May 27 to June 1, 2007, DeLauro toured Havana, Cuba “to examine the transition that is occurring in Cuba and the impact of that transition on U.S. policy, as well as to examine agriculture and trade with the island.” Accompanying her on the trip were such notables as former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. A few days later, DeLauro urged an end to U.S. trade and travel sanctions against Cuba.
In 2007 and 2009, respectively, DeLauro spoke at the “Take Back America” and “America’s Future Now” conferences sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future.
In 2009 it was learned that for the previous five years, DeLauro had allowed multi-millionaire congressman Rahm Emanuel to live rent-free in her Capitol Hill townhouse. Emanuel had failed to report this arrangement on any of his financial-disclosure forms, as congressional ethics rules require.
In March 2012 at the New Haven People’s Center, DeLauro served on the Host Committee for a celebration honoring Connecticut Communist Party USA member Alfred Marder on the occasion of his 90th birthday. DeLauro also inserted a tribute to Marder into the Congressional Record of March 20, 2012.
In early 2013, DeLauro was one of dozens of prominent leftists who urged President Barack Obama to award, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late Fred Ross Sr., a Saul Alinsky-trained radical who mentored both Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.
Addressing the subject of income inequality, DeLauro said in January 2014: “Whether it’s an economic panic, Great Depression, slavery, Jim Crow, civil war, world war, cold war, there are times when our country is confronted with a crisis that poses existential threat to our nation and our way of life. And Congress needs to stand up and act. The test of our time is inequality.”
In May 2015, DeLauro was a signatory to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.”
In September 2015, DeLauro argued passionately against a Republican bill that aimed to defund Planned Parenthood. Describing Planned Parenthood as an entity that “serves 2.7 million Americans every year” with “lifesaving services like pap tests [and] breast exams,” the congresswoman characterized the legislation as a “spiteful,” “mean-spirited,” and “cruel” measure that “tells millions of low-income Americans ‘Forget your health. You can just die’.”
In December 2017, DeLauro denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem, as an “irresponsible decision” that “will likely increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, instead of moving us toward a lasting peace agreement.”
As of March 2019, DeLauro had a net worth of $20 million.
During a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on December 8, 2020, DeLauro said that the Hyde Amendment, which bans taxpayer funding of most abortions, is a “discriminatory policy” because many nonwhite women lack the funds necessary to pay for an abortion. Said the congresswoman: “Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land…. [F]or too long, some women in this country have been denied their right to an abortion…. We know that without insurance coverage of abortion, a legal health care procedure, they face costs more than $500 on average, but can exceed $1,000 depending on where they live, and the type of abortion. This does not include out-of-pocket expenses like childcare, time off from work, and travel. These costs are prohibitive for too many women.”
DeLauro is a member not only of the Democratic Party, but also of the Working Families Party. According to Americans for Democratic Action, she votes with the political Left 95 to 100 percent of the time.
For an overview of her voting record on a wide range of significant issues, click here.
For additional information on Rosa DeLauro, click here.
Further Reading: “Rosa DeLauro” (Votesmart.org, Keywiki.org); “Rosa DeLauro: Fueled by People and the Hustle of Congress” (BU.edu, 12-13-2001); “Rosa DeLauro’s Marriage: More Than Just Love?” (Breitbart.com, 10-7-2011, re: the money DeLauro funneled through the DCCC); “Conn.: Rep. Urges End to Cuba Sanctions” (Forexhelp.com, 6-6-2007); “Rahm’s ‘Rent’ Is Just the Tip of Ethics Iceberg” (by Dick Morris & Eileen Mc Gann, 2-19-2009); “Dem Rep DeLauro: Defunding Planned Parenthood Telling ‘Millions’ ‘You Can Just Die” (by Ian Hanchett, 9-17-2015); “Rosa DeLauro Net Worth” (CelebrityNetWorth.com).