BioOn January 5, 2011, Frank Pallone, Jr. was sworn in for his 12th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pallone represents New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District, which covers most of Middlesex County, as well as the Bayshore and oceanfront areas of Monmouth County, the Township of Plainfield in Union County and Franklin in Somerset County.
In the 112th Congress, Pallone continues to serve as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to energy, environment, health care, commerce and telecommunications.
Pallone is the top Democrat on the Committee's Subcommittee on Health, which has sole jurisdiction over Medicaid, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and shares jurisdiction of Medicare with the Ways and Means Committee. The Health Subcommittee oversees public health, biomedical programs, food and drug safety, mental health and research, hospital construction and all health care homeland security-related issues.
As Health Subcommittee Chairman during the 111th Congress, Pallone played a leading role in passing the Affordable Care Act. The landmark law extends health care coverage to an additional 32 million Americans while driving down health care costs and reigning in abusive tactics used by insurance companies to deny medical treatment. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime limit on their coverage and 5.1 million seniors have saved $3.2 billion on their prescription drugs, to date.
Additional key legislative accomplishments in the 111th Congress that are now law include reforming an outdated food safety system and expanding health care coverage to millions of low and middle income children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Pallone was one of the main authors of food safety reform, which emphasizes prevention and safety measures that help ensure food is safe before it reaches the kitchen tables of millions of families.
Pallone also serves on the Committee's Environment and Economy Subcommittee and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over fisheries, oceans and other coastal issues, and serves on the Committee's Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee.
Pallone has successfully worked to stop ocean dumping and offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. He has obtained millions of dollars for shore protection and beach replenishment work along a large stretch of the Jersey Coast, for dredging of the area's navigation channels and for the maintenance of his district's National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook. He has also championed issues important to the state's commercial and recreational fishing industries.
Pallone is a leader in protecting the integrity of the Medicare guarantee and Medicaid programs, ensuring food safety, strengthening the federal Superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites, strengthening the nation's clean water laws, and protecting our shores against the threat of offshore drilling.
Pallone holds an important leadership position within the House Democratic Caucus. As the Communications Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee, the New Jersey congressman plays an active role in developing and implementing the Democratic Party's message. In this capacity, Pallone coordinates the party's message on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Frank Pallone, Jr., was born on October 30, 1951, 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 cum laude 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 at Rutgers University in 1978, and has been admitted to the bar in four states- New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Pallone began his political career in his home city of Long Branch, getting elected to the City Council in 1982 and winning re-election four years later. In 1983, Pallone was elected to the state Senate, representing the Monmouth County coastline. He was re-elected in 1987. During his tenure in the state Legislature, Pallone distinguished himself as an advocate for environmental issues and senior citizen concerns, and prioritized providing constituent services.
On November 8, 1988, at the age of 37, Frank Pallone, Jr., was elected to the House of Representatives from New Jersey's former Third District, encompassing parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties. In March 1992, a new Congressional district map for New Jersey was adopted. Portions of the former Third District were merged with parts of two other districts to create the Sixth Congressional District, taking in large portions of Middlesex and Monmouth counties. Pallone was first elected to the Sixth District seat in November 1992.
Pallone's Central Jersey district is an ethnically diverse area with a wide range of business 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, primarily centered in the coastal areas, is vital to the regional economy. While the district has a predominantly suburban character, the cities of New Brunswick, Plainfield, Asbury Park and Long Branch are key urban centers.
Pallone married the former Sarah Hospodor in 1992. They have three children, daughters Rose Marie and Celeste Teresa, and a son, Frank Andrew.