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Meet the Chairman

Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr.

On January 3, 2019, Frank Pallone, Jr. was sworn in for his 16th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pallone represents New Jersey's 6th Congressional District, which covers most of Middlesex County, as well as the Bayshore and oceanfront areas of Monmouth County.

Pallone is the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has one of the broadest jurisdictions of any congressional committee. He served as Ranking Member of the Committee 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 115th Congress, 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. The comprehensive legislation included two Pallone proposals.  The first expanded Medicare coverage of Opioid Treatment Programs and medication-assisted treatment for seniors.  The second gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the ability to take action against illicit controlled substances coming in through International Mail Facilities across the country.

In October 2018, Pallone worked closely with Committee Democrats and Republicans to reauthorize the Safe Drinking Water Act for the first time in 20 years. The legislation provided significant new funding to state and local governments in dire need of federal assistance.

Pallone also spearheaded Committee Democrats’ efforts to conduct vigorous oversight of the Trump Administration. While Committee Republicans refused to hold the administration accountable during the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats pushed the EPA Inspector General and the General Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct multiple investigations into then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, helping lead to his resignation in July 2018. Pallone also pushed GAO to investigate the administration’s sabotage of the 2018 ACA Open Enrollment Period, and its cruel family separation policy.

In his first term as Ranking Member 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 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.

Throughout his career, Pallone has been a leader in protecting and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, making the nation’s food system safer, strengthening laws to keep our air and water clean, making health care more affordable and accessible, and supporting initiatives that advance and protect the public health.

Pallone was born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he still resides. He is a graduate of Middlebury College, holds a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and earned his law degree at Rutgers University.  Pallone married the former Sarah Hospodor in 1992. They have three children, daughters Rose Marie and Celeste Teresa, and a son, Frank Andrew.