Frank Pallone, Jr. was sworn in for his 17th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 3, 2021. Pallone represents New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District, which includes most of Middlesex County as well as the Bayshore and oceanfront areas of Monmouth County.
Throughout his career, Pallone has fought to make health care more affordable and accessible, protect and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, and make the country’s food system safer. Pallone has fought to protect New Jersey’s environment, and ensure that all residents can enjoy the National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook. He has also championed issues that are important to the state's commercial and recreational fishing industries.
Pallone is the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has one of the broadest jurisdictions of any congressional committee. He has served as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress in 2019 and before that he served as the Committee’s Ranking Member in the 114th and 115th Congresses. The Committee’s jurisdiction includes issues pertaining to health care, energy, environment, commerce, food and drug safety, consumer protection, telecommunications, and the internet. Pallone has held a seat on the Committee since 1993.
During the 116th Congress, as the nation confronted the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, Pallone played a pivotal role in ensuring Congress provided the tools and resources needed to bring an end to this terrible pandemic. He helped shepherd four bills through the House to combat the coronavirus that became law. They include the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, and an omnibus appropriations and COVID-19 relief package. Thanks to these bills, New Jersey received billions of dollars to help keep New Jerseyans healthy during the pandemic and ensure hardworking families receive the support they need.
Pallone led the bipartisan effort to end surprise medical bills by holding patients harmless when they receive a surprise bill from an out-of-network health care provider. He also authored the new bipartisan law that will help stop the onslaught of annoying robocalls. He successfully pushed through historic legislation that was signed into law that will help combat climate change by phasing down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons and mandating the repair of methane leaks. He also advanced the fight against climate change with a plan to achieve a 100% clean economy by 2050.
Pallone continued to build on his reputation as an advocate for New Jersey’s environment by securing offshore drilling bans to protect New Jersey’s coastline from disastrous oil spills and working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete multiple beach replenishment projects along beaches in Monmouth County in 2019 and 2020. He also continued to strengthen the federal Superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites.
During the 115th Congress, as Ranking Member, Pallone was one of the key leaders in the successful fight to prevent Republicans from repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Pallone also led Democratic efforts to pass bipartisan legislation that expanded treatment for people fighting opioid use disorder and to reauthorize the Safe Drinking Water Act for the first time in 20 years.
In his first term as Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee during the 114th Congress, Pallone led Democrats in passing key health care and environmental bills that were signed into law by President Obama, including the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, and the 21st Century Cures Act.
Prior to serving as the Ranking Member of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, Pallone served as the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Health from 2007 to 2014. As Chairman of the Health Subcommittee during the 111th Congress, Pallone played a key role in authoring and passing the ACA. The landmark law extends health care coverage to millions of Americans, while driving down health care costs, and reigning in abusive tactics used by insurance companies to deny medical treatment.
Frank Pallone, Jr. was born in Long Branch, New Jersey where he grew up and still resides. The son of a policeman, Pallone attended local public schools and earned an academic scholarship to Middlebury College. After graduating from Middlebury in 1973, Pallone received his master's degree in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He earned his law degree from Rutgers University in 1978.
Pallone began his political career in Long Branch. He was elected to the Long Branch City Council in 1982. In 1983, he was elected to the state Senate, representing the Monmouth County coastline. He was re-elected in 1987.
On November 8, 1988, Pallone was elected to the House of Representatives from New Jersey's former Third District, encompassing parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties. After a new Congressional district map was adopted in 1992, Pallone was elected to represent the Sixth District that included large portions of Middlesex and Monmouth Counties in November of the same year.
Pallone’s Central Jersey district is an ethnically diverse area that includes New Brunswick, Asbury Park, and Perth Amboy. It is also home to a wide range of businesses and industry. Light and heavy manufacturing facilities provide jobs for thousands of area residents. Central Jersey is on the cutting edge of high technology research and development. The district is home to Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Monmouth University. Tourism along the coastal areas is vital to the regional economy.
Pallone married his wife Sarah in 1992. They have three children: Rose, Frank, and Celeste.