Episode 17: The CTC 6 Press Conference on Sept. 13, 2023

This press conference was in direct response to new information published by the Census Bureau, which showed a sharp increase in childhood poverty. The Expanded Child Tax Credit of 2021 lifted 60 million children out of childhood poverty, and the increase in poverty is a direct result of that program’s end.

Rep. Rosa Delauro opened the press conference and introduced her colleagues, known at “the CTC 6.” 

Note: Rep. Torres was not at this press conference but was recognized by Rep. Delauro as part of this committee.

Sen. Bennet discussed “wise investment” that our country made by creating the Expanded Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Sen. Brown called the day that the Expanded Child Tax Credit passed the best day of his career. He says there is “no reason” why we shouldn’t move forward to help those families and children in 2023 like we did in 2021.

Rep. DelBene stepped up to offer some data, calling herself “the data geek of the CTC 6.” Due to its historic nature, there is a broad amount of data on the CTC. She does reiterate that while some may think this program is expensive, “There is a cost to doing nothing.”

There is a bipartisan path forward, and Rep. DelBene urges all policymakers to walk it together.

Sen. Booker recalled his own experiences in “low income Black and Brown communities.” He cites statistics but urges everyone to remember that this money doesn’t impact numbers on a page. It impacts real people, real children – to the tune of millions of people having a better life. Since we know this program worked, policymakers can do something about it.

“Poverty for children in America is not some accident. It’s a policy choice.”

The group then took questions from the press before stating their commitment to continuing their fight for an Expanded Child Tax Credit.

The Invisible Americans EP 017

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Rep. Rosa DeLauro  

All right, well, good afternoon to everyone. I think this is a historic moment that here we are on the Senate side of the Capitol and we have a House member, opening up the press conference, you know, have times changed, anyway, but wonderful to be here with my just stalwart, indefatigable colleagues on this issue.

Let me just say that yesterday, for me very personally, yesterday was one of the saddest and frustrating days in my time in the Congress. To learn that the United States had the largest increase in child poverty, that child poverty rate on record, following a year of record breaking poverty reduction. I have to tell you that it's very, very painful, very painful. And I'm so proud to be here with my fellow members of the CTC six representatives Suzan DelBene, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Cory Booker, and we're missing Congressman Ritchie Torres today. He would have been with us but he's home with COVID and we all wish him a speedy recovery. 

We are here today because the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit worked. Simple as that. It cut child poverty to the lowest record, recorded level. The Child Tax Credit gave families breathing room, peace of mind to ensure that their rent, their mortgage was paid, food was put on the table, and if their child needed new clothes or school supplies, they could afford it. They could afford child care. So that yes, they might be able to go to work. Many families had economic security, and welcome to Senator Booker. I’m so happy to welcome a senator to their own chamber here. But you know, and the reality is many families had economic security for the very, very first time. So it's disappointing that we continue to push back against blatant falsehoods about the child tax credit. You’re gonna have to take it from us. Scholars have documented in report after report that the monthly Child Tax Credit did not have a major impact on the employment of parents, grandparents or other caregiver givers who received the benefit. 

Frankly, insulting to families to suggest parents are going to quit their jobs for $3,000 or $3,600 a year. They are not, and the data is there to back it up. In fact, every dollar spent on the Child Tax Credit produced $8 in economic and social benefits. This is a policy that will pay for itself. And further leading economists found the improved child tax credit was the antidote for inflation, especially for those families of the nearly 5 million children in poverty. It is shameful that the most successful modern policy to help children and their families expire. Instead, Congressional Republicans are obsessed with providing corporations and the wealthiest Americans who do not pay their fair share of taxes with even more tax cuts. All while nearly 5 million children are back in poverty as a result of their complete indifference to their constituents. 

To be clear, we passed the expanded child tax credit, because the evidence said that it would work. And it did, leading to the largest one year drop in child poverty on record. And then it went away. And we saw the largest increase in child poverty on record. Child poverty more than doubled from 5.2% to 12.4%. And we cannot let that stand. We will not rest until we make this expanded child tax credit permanent. We need to pass the American family act and I and I know we all do call on our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us. We have the solution to prevent child poverty. Let's implement it. 

Our children deserve nothing less. So it is a great pleasure for me to introduce Senator Michael Bennet, a fierce fearless leader and a partner in the Senate side, longtime ally in this effort, and who was a fighter and continues to be a fighter for children. And he was that fighter before he came to the Congress. And I'm proud to say that you’re educated at Wesleyan University.

Sen. Michael Bennet  

Thank you, Rosa. Thank you and you can always go first over here. I think I speak for the senators here when I say that we would certainly never stand in your way. So thanks for being here Rosa, and thank you to my colleagues for being here as well. I think, this is such a bittersweet occasion, in a way. It’s obviously deeply discouraging, because we've now seen the largest increase in childhood poverty that we've ever seen in this country, the richest country in the world. On the other hand, we know that it's on the backdrop of the promises that we made about this policy actually being fulfilled. And we know that the policy worked the way we said it was going to work. There were a lot of doubters about that when we passed this bill to begin with. Now, we know that's not true. You know, 30 million children benefited from this, we cut childhood poverty in the United States of America in half. 90% of the kids in Colorado, and across the country benefited from this. 

I met family after family after family who are struggling in Colorado with an economy that for 50 years had worked really well for the people at the very top and not so well for everybody else. Finally, having breathing room to be able to buy a little extra food or pay the rent or buy some, for the first time new school clothes without breaking the budget. That's how families spent the money. And we now know that. Families spent the money on their kids. That's not a surprise to anybody standing up here who has spent time with people who work for a living in this country. But that is how they spent the money and the money was a wise investment for our country. 

As Rosa said, the studies from Colombia and other places say this, money would spend payback eight times because we were actually mitigating the effects of childhood poverty, rather than dealing with its costs. And, and that's another reason we should do it. Before we passed this bill, there were people who said we won't even be able to get the monthly checks out. The IRS somehow can't do that, and actually it turned out they did an amazing job with that, and we were able to get the money out as we had promised in a way that was most useful to families. 

I've been here on Christmas Eve, and on New Year's Eve, when tax cuts for the biggest corporations in America were expiring. I'd been here when tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans were expiring, and I've seen the Senate stay here till two o'clock in the morning to make sure those tax cuts were extended. In this case, we turned our back on America's children. For once, we treated America's children like they were our children, not someone else's children in the richest country in the world, and we cut childhood poverty to half. But in the end, we turned our backs on them, and I believe the group up here will certainly continue to fight to end childhood poverty in this country. That should be our goal. And the best policy for doing that is the expanded child tax credit that we implemented as part of the American rescue plan. And we need to fight to make sure that it is put back in place. And that's what every single one of us is committed to do. 

Now with the history and the knowledge that it actually worked away. We all said it would. And with that, let me turn it over to my colleague, Sherrod Brown, who is working on the Child Tax Credit, long before I was ever in the Senate and working on full refundability as well. He's been an incredible partner. And I think in a state like Ohio, where you're working not just for Democrats, but for Republicans and Democrats, and Independents. You know, he knows that this is a benefit that was important to people not withstanding what political party they're in. But just because they're working people in this country. With that, let me turn it to Sherrod Brown.

Sen. Sherrod Brown  

Michael, thanks.. And good to see you and Suzan. Thank you for the work you're doing, and Cory and Rosa has been doing this longer than anybody on this stage except for one guy longer than anybody in this room. I think it really is. It's obvious. It's simple what this can do and think about a family and think about a single parent, Toledo with two children, one of them nine years old, one of them five years old, wants to go back to work, but she can't afford child care. This was $550 a month for her starting last year, starting a year and a half ago to get that money in her pocket so she could go back to work, which she wants to do. She would have childcare. She may even be able to buy some clothes, take their child to a movie. All the kinds of things this would do. It means that the poorest women, the poorest men don't have to think about make the choice. Do I feed my child or pay my rent? Because I'm getting this check. Three kids, young teens getting $900 a month, making all the difference for a family in Dayton or a family in Youngstown. 

So they can move forward with dignity and honor the dignity of work and honor the dignity of their children makes all the difference in the world. And what we were able to do back two years ago, like what Michael said about how fast this happened. This bill passed in March. I remember sitting on the Senate floor. Best day of my career when I knew we were about to vote and we passed it by one vote, twice we passed it by one vote. That was in March, the President signed it by July, money checks went out. In my state to the families of 2 million children, 2 million to families of 2 million children in Ohio benefited enough food to eat, occasionally be able to go too good to go out and get something to eat for a family, paying for childcare, paying for school clothes, paying for school supplies, this time of year, all the things that this little bit of help from the federal government can do to change lives. 

So this is really obvious. It's really simple. We did it two years ago, we hope that Republicans join us this year in getting it done because it reaches across as Michael said, it reaches across all party lines. This is 2 million kids in my state. This is 60 million kids in the country. There’s just no reason we should move forward to help those families and help those children. My pleasure to introduce Suzan, who has been a real warrior in this. Suzan, go for it.

Rep. Suzan DelBene  

Thanks, everyone. It's great to be here. Thanks to our senators, of course, my incredible colleague, Rosa DeLauro, who has been a stalwart, and such a vocal champion for children and families. I'm the data geek of the CTC six. And actually, one of the things I love about the expanded child tax credit is we have tons of data to show what an incredibly effective program it is. Maybe more data than we've had on a lot of other programs and the impact of this historic policy really is indisputable. Because the data speaks for itself, nearly 4 million children were lifted out of poverty in just a few short months and childhood poverty was cut in half. And that's in part because the expanded Child Tax Credit went to the families that needed it most. 

Thanks to full refundability, which is critical, millions of parents were given little more breathing room because of those monthly payments, their bills were coming in. They were able to meet those needs as they came up. And I think we know, parents across the country, as a parent, we want to do everything we can to help our kids and when hardworking families have more stability, and room to succeed. Our economy is stronger and more resilient, and our kids do better. I've heard so many stories, you've heard some already of how the expanded Child Tax Credit supported families when they needed it, from helping them keep a roof over their heads to buying basketball shoes so a child could play on his school team, to allowing parents to spend a little bit more time with their kids. 

This is the economic vision that Democrats stand for, one that is centered around a strong and growing middle class. And we saw from yesterday census data that childhood poverty more than doubled in a year since Republicans allowed this policy to expire. Addressing childhood poverty should be a bipartisan issue. Republicans have supported expanding the child tax credit in the past, they should want to again, the data is really clear on the impact. And that's what we should be talking about. We should be talking about what we can do for our communities. 

I serve on the Ways and Means Committee and many times the excuse I hear for not supporting policy is that the expanded child tax credit is too expensive. That's incredibly short sighted because there is a cost to doing nothing. Childhood poverty costs us over a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and worse health economic outcomes, and makes it more challenging for our kids. That means that, more demand and also means that there's more demand for other government programs. And instead, we have an opportunity to put kids on a better path from an early age. So there's a bipartisan path forward, there should be if Republicans are willing to walk it with us. Unfortunately, they have been focused on economic policies that favor the wealthy and the well connected, hard working families look at this, and they see that approach for what it is that it's unfair and unjust. 

We're going to keep fighting until we bring back the expanded Child Tax Credit. We know it works, and we need to make it permanent. And with that, I want to hand it over to another champion for children for working families, Senator Cory Booker.

Sen. Cory Booker

It’s incredible to be here. For me, every time I stand with the crew behind me, I feel grateful to join someone like Rosa who's been at this for as long as I can remember before I even got into public life. And on my side, my captain Sherrod Brown, to allow me when I came here 10 years ago, to be a part of this was extraordinarily hopeful for me. And that hope was delivered upon as was said in some detail when we got the final expansion of the Child Tax Credit. And as we said earlier, it proved something. 

We have now proved something pretty phenomenal, and at the same time, pretty obscene. And what we've proved is that poverty for children in America is not some accident. It's a policy choice. This moral obscenity of the richest nation in the world, having the highest poverty rates is not an accident. It's not destiny. It's not inevitability. It is people in this institution making a policy choice. And what makes it more offensive. What makes it violence to our virtues is that it is a self inflicted wound, costing us a trillion dollars to our economy. 

Children who grew up below the poverty line, have higher health care costs, have worse performance in schools have lower productivity, and often have higher rates of criminality. We would rather complain about problems on the back end, like health care costs, disease rates, violence in our neighborhoods, than make a conscious policy choice that saves our economy money that expands opportunity that creates GDP growth. And so I don't know this, for sure. But I think I'm the only person up here that for the last 25 years, has lived in a low income black and brown community. And the data that my team put in front of me, it could sound just like numbers. 5 million children right now would be out of poverty if we kept this. 5 million children. 

Well, let me tell you about kids. I know. I've seen how people get evicted over a few hundred dollars. A mom with two young kids lucky enough to get into a school but now has to move school, take their child out midway through a school year, and the only Penny she could scrape together gets a substandard apartment. She didn't know it had lead paint in it. She didn't know it had mold in it. And now she's struggling with health problems for herself and her children. And our children now having been pulled from school to school are doing worse. And they're in communities where they're more likely to be victims of violence, and the stress and the strain. It's literally changing the development of their brains. 

Who are we, as a nation, where this is a story repeated millions of times of struggling moms, struggling families who want the promise of the American Dream that anyone born anywhere can have a shot. And we just took it away. Because we prioritize in this country, things that have so far less of a return, not to mention the moral madness of this failure of Congress to expand the Child Tax Credit. Not to mention all those families without children in poverty, who are still finding it harder to make ends meet, who still find themselves with more month at the end of their money than money at the end of their month. This is a defining moment of the character of our country. And while we have proved that policy can make a difference we have failed to do what this country should do. Be who we say we are. A nation where everyone has a shot. Everyone can make their dream come true.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro  

Questions. Go for it.

Reporter 1

Jonathan Salant from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. I've been covering this from the beginning with the same [INAUDIBLE] with the Gang of Six. And he talks about what's different, anything different, how do you get this through finally after these years of pushing for this program?

Rep. Rosa DeLauro  

We'll all address that. It's the fact of the matter is there were the naysayers at the outset. It was tough getting this through. They said we couldn't do it on a monthly basis, that people were not going to go to work, that people were going to dog. There were some who said that people were going to buy drugs with it. And that was a reason not to vote for it. Well, it's all been disproved. We know it’s been disproved. There is data. And we didn't make it up. We don't come here and said we created it out of whole cloth. You have at Columbia University, you have scholars, you have economists who are saying that this worked. It lifted half of our kids out of poverty in this country. And as a result of pulling back, we see 5 million kids thrown back into poverty. 

Now, I don't know what more people need to demonstrate that there's a federal program, who set out its mission. It accomplished its mission. And now we say the hell with it. Then who are we, it’s been pointed out. Who are we as a nation? We believe we can end child poverty. We have the means to be able to do it. That should be strength to get it through. And I've just heard today before I came over, that Senator Wyden said there would be no tax package at the end of the year unless there were a child tax credit. And maybe that's the way that you have to proceed, rather than somebody grasping onto what has been a program that has done what it said it was going to do, and it's made a difference. Go ahead.

Reporter 2

I have a question for Senator Booker. I understand the Republicans are opposed to the expanded child tax credit, and then you call the demise of the program a moral insanity. I'm wondering if you blame Senator Manchin in any way for the demise of the program that contributed to the last year’s spike in child poverty?

Sen. Cory Booker

It’s so easy to go right into the politics of the personal on something like this, as opposed to all of us taking responsibility for the demise of this program. Their heroic work by the Biden administration by the people behind me who are some of the best people I've had the privilege of working with in my life. But this is the trap of American politics. We want to vilify an individual, when we don't realize that all the other movements that helped neighborhoods like the one I live in, like the civil rights movement, we didn't get the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because Strom Thurmond came to the Senate floor and said, I've seen the light, let's give those Negro people some rights. It happened because people, black, white, Christian, Jewish, Latino, Muslim, marched in the streets and demanded the change. 

And so I'm not going to vilify one individual. We are at a point in our country where we are at a crossroads. Where people are becoming cynical about the American dream. There's a nihilism growing in our country. And I'm telling you, when you see other nations that have better pathways, literally more of a chance of getting out of the bottom quintile, into the second or third quintile, than this country, they're out Americaning us. And so I'm gonna fight like hell. It wasn't of the people who voted against this, it could have been any of them, and appeal to their conscience. But more importantly, I'm saying this not so people can point at Congress, all of us have a responsibility to begin to center this program, as one of the most important parts of our tax law we can have. 

We have a tax system that is overwhelmingly rigged for people at the largest earning quintile of our country, things like carried interest things, I'll defend the mortgage interest deduction, I'll defend that. But that overwhelmingly goes to wealthier Americans. What we've been saying from the start is, let's make sure that there is a foundation for every child in America. And for anyone raising a child 90% of the people in Colorado, about 84-85% of the people in New Jersey, let's remember anybody when we bring a child into this world, we say we're prioritizing that child's pathway to success.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro 

Yes, go ahead.

Reporter 3

So two part question, philosophical and practical. On the philosophical side, you say it's moral injury but fundamentally, there are usually Republicans that believe that there should be work requirements, and that government shouldn't be this involved in everyday life. So how do you overcome that philosophical difference? And then second, on the practical side, you did say at the end of last year, that you want to exchange child tax credit in return for extending the R&D credit. So what's changed this year that could actually happen?

Sen. Michael Bennet  

So I'd say on this first part of your question, I know you know this, because you've covered this for so long. We held a hearing in the finance committee, the subcommittee that I chair, the tax taxation committee, that fairly clearly showed what the data was on people who received the child tax credit. And there are millions and millions of people that are being excluded, children that are being excluded, whose families are working or whose families are being run by grandparents or families worked last year but haven't worked this year. And it's roughly on the order of 95%, I think. And so in my view, the way I look at this is, first of all, almost everybody is working. And I know that personally, because of having been the superintendent of Denver Public Schools. The people that I worked for were working two and three jobs, but no matter what they did, they couldn't lift their kids out of poverty. 

The issue is not that people won't work, they are working. The issue is they're not being compensated enough to be able to get their kids in the middle class or give their kids a stable home. And that's what we're fighting for. But my second point is, even if there's a tiny number of people who because of full refundability didn't have a family worked in the last six months or something like that. The benefits to America are extraordinary, the idea that the richest country in the world wouldn't want to end childhood poverty, for its own sake, defies my imagination. I do not understand it for all the reasons that Cory said that have to do with health outcomes, education outcomes, getting shunted into our prison system. 

The benefits to us are huge. And I think that the data that we're looking at now all reflects what I'm saying. And I hope more people are going to continue to believe that's true on both sides of the aisle, because they're clearly libertarian think tanks and others who agree with what I just said. Second thing is, I just think we have a real opportunity now, because people know that this group of people is not going to support tax benefits for corporations or for the wealthiest people in this country. If we don't advance the child tax credit in a meaningful way. That hasn't historically been the case. When I talked earlier about those tax cuts that were going through in the middle of the night. That was before there were people that were standing up and saying, we’re gonna fight for this. Not just by the way, not just for this, but also for a tax code that's not riddled with the kind of inequities this tax code is riddled with, and for one that actually supports the working people in this country.

Rep. Suzan DelBene  

I just wanted to add something on, you brought up R&D, and we want to have a conversation with folks about how we can move policy. But let's be clear, we want to move policy that works. And we know when we talk about the child tax credit to things that have been critical to it working refundability making sure we're getting to folks who needed the most and those monthly checks made a huge difference. So when we talk about the data, what works, let's make sure when we talk about that policy, we're putting policy in place that has the impact that we're talking about. And there should be a bipartisan path if folks have come to the table. But unfortunately, that's been a challenge. 

Rep. Rosa DeLauro 

Yes, go ahead.

Reporter 4

Well, as has been mentioned, Republicans don't support the full scope and scale of the 2021 expansion, this fall, if those negotiations are able to happen, is there a certain piece of that expansion that you view as a priority to dial up and expand as soon as possible?

Rep. Rosa DeLauro  

Let me just speak on my own behalf here. I will just go back to what I said at the outset. The people on this stage have been serving in the Congress for a number of years, I don't know collectively what the number is. We've been here a long time. The fact is that we have witnessed a lot of federal programs. Many that we have supported, some that we maybe have not supported. But we have never seen a federal program succeed as constructed as we have, and its goals and its monthly payment, and the numbers that are involved. We have not seen a program work and carry out the mission it was intended to carry out. Why do we have to sit back and say, let's change it. Let's settle for something that maybe will not work as well and settle for less? 

Do we do that with a number of the other programs that we deal with? We can go through every department and take a look at federal programs. And I'll put the child tax credit up against any other federal program and term of its success. And you know, what is success? Lifting kids out of poverty in the United States of America. It's not a sop to some group. I’ll just say this, today, when you ask people how they're doing economically. They're in trouble. People today live paycheck to paycheck, which is why they say the economy isn't working for them. 

They get a $400 bill, they can't do it. Okay. Cost of living for middle class families, working families, vulnerable families hasn't moved in the last several years. Folks at the top have done well. They're hurting. And the child tax credit made it possible for them to be able to get ahead somewhat. And now we pull it back. This piece of legislation ought to be a flagship for both parties, in terms of what it can do for the economy of this country and allowing people to get on their feet, be able to take care of themselves and their families and have economic security in the United States. Thank you.

Carol Jenkins  

Thanks for being with us on this special edition of The Invisible Americans podcast please follow us on social media, our YouTube channel, our blog posts on Medium. We will see you the next time.

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Michael Bennet

U.S. Senator (D-CO)

Michael Bennet has represented Colorado in the United States Senate since 2009. Recognized as a pragmatic and independent thinker, he is driven by an obligation to create more opportunity for the next generation. Michael has built a reputation of taking on Washington dysfunction and working with Republicans and Democrats to address our nation’s greatest challenges—including education, climate change, immigration, health care, and national security. Before serving in the Senate, Michael worked to restructure failing businesses and helped create the world’s largest movie theater chain. As superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, he led one of the most extensive reform efforts in the country, resulting in substantial, sustained academic improvement for Denver’s children. He lives in Denver with his wife and three daughters.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Congresswoman, Connecticut’s Third Congressional District

Rosa DeLauro is the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District, which stretches from the Long Island Sound and New Haven, to the Naugatuck Valley and Waterbury. Rosa serves as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee and sits on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and she is the Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees our nation’s investments in education, health, and employment.

At the core of Rosa’s work is her fight for America’s working families. Rosa believes that we must raise the nation’s minimum wage, give all employees access to paid sick days, allow employees to take paid family and medical leave, and ensure equal pay for equal work. Every day, Rosa fights for legislation that would give all working families an opportunity to succeed.

Rosa believes that our first priority must be to strengthen the economy and create good middle class jobs. She supports tax cuts for working and middle class families, fought to expand the Child Tax Credit to provide tax relief to millions of families, and introduced the Young Child Tax Credit to give families with young children an economic lift.

Rosa has also fought to stop trade agreements that lower wages and ships jobs overseas, while also protecting the rights of employees and unions. She believes that we need to grow our economy by making smart innovative investments in our infrastructure, which is why she introduced legislation to create a National Infrastructure bank.

Rosa is a leader in fighting to improve and expand federal support for child nutrition and for modernizing our food safety system. She believes that the U.S. should have one agency assigned the responsibility for food safety, rather than the 15 different agencies that lay claim to different parts of our food system. Rosa fights against special interests, like tobacco and e-cigarettes, which seek to skirt our public health and safety rules.

As the Ranking Member dealing with appropriations for Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education, Rosa is determined to increase support for education and make college more affordable for more American students and their families. She is also fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act so that all Americans have access to affordable care. Rosa strongly believes in the power of biomedical research and she is working to increase funding so that we can make lifesaving breakthroughs in science and medicine.

Rosa believes that we have a moral obligation to our nation’s veterans and their families, and her concern for these heroes extends to both their physical and mental well-being. Rosa supports a transformation in how the Department of Veterans Affairs is funded, including advanced appropriations for health services, to ensure its fiscal soundness; and she successfully championed legislation to guarantee that troops deploying to combat theaters get the mental health screening they need both before and after deployment, as well as championed legislation that now provides assistance to today’s Post-9/11 veterans choosing to pursue on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs.

Rosa belongs to 62 House caucus groups and is the co-chair of the Baby Caucus, the Long Island Sound Caucus, and the Food Safety Caucus.

Soon after earning degrees from Marymount College and Columbia University, Rosa followed her parents’ footsteps into public service, serving as the first Executive Director of EMILY's List, a national organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected office; Executive Director of Countdown '87, the national campaign that successfully stopped U.S. military aid to the Nicaraguan Contras; and as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd. In 1990, Rosa was elected to the House of Representatives, and she has served as the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District ever since.

Rosa is married to Stanley Greenberg. Their children—Anna, Kathryn, and Jonathan Greenberg—all are grown and pursuing careers. Rosa and Stan have six grandchildren, Rigby, Teo, Sadie, Jasper, Paola and Gus.