Frank Pallone

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Frank Pallone
Frank Pallone, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byGreg Walden
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey
Assumed office
November 8, 1988
Preceded byJames J. Howard
Constituency3rd district (1988–1993)
6th district (1993–present)
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 11th district
In office
January 10, 1984 – November 8, 1988
Preceded byBrian T. Kennedy
Succeeded byJoseph A. Palaia
Member of the Long Branch City Council
In office
Personal details
Frank Joseph Pallone Jr.

(1951-10-30) October 30, 1951 (age 68)
Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Sarah Hospodor
(m. 1992)
EducationMiddlebury College (BA)
Tufts University (MA)
Rutgers University, Camden (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Frank Joseph Pallone Jr. /pəˈln/ (born October 30, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 6th congressional district, serving since 1988. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 3rd district from 1988 to 1993, is located in the north-central part of the state and includes New Brunswick, Woodbridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, Edison, Piscataway and Asbury Park. Pallone is the current Chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.[1]

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Pallone is a graduate of Middlebury College, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Rutgers School of Law–Camden. Prior to being elected to the House, Pallone was a member of the Long Branch city council from 1982 to 1988.

He was a member of the New Jersey Senate (the upper house of the New Jersey Legislature), from the 11th district, from 1984 to 1988. In 1983, he defeated incumbent Republican State Senator Brian T. Kennedy 50%-49%.[2] In 1987, he won re-election with 60% of the vote, defeating Councilwoman Gerri C. Popkin of Neptune City.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



In March 1988, 60-year-old incumbent U.S. Congressman James Howard (D-Spring Lake Heights) of New Jersey's 3rd congressional district died in office. In November, the regular election coincided with a special election to complete Howard's term; Pallone won both, defeating Republican former state Assemblyman Joe Azzolina 52%-47% and Libertarian Laura Stewart. In 1990, he won re-election with 49% of the vote, against a Republican, an independent, Libertarian Bill Stewart, and a Populist.


After redistricting, Pallone's district was renumbered as the 6th district. In the Democratic primary of 1992, he defeated State Representative Robert Smith 55%-37%. In the general election, he defeated Republican State Senator Joe Kyrillos 52%-45% and nine other candidates. Since then, he has won re-election with at least 60% in all but two elections (1998 and 2010). In 1998, he defeated Republican teacher Mike Ferguson 57%-40%.


Pallone was challenged by Republican nominee Anna C. Little. Little is a former Monmouth County Freeholder and served as Mayor of Highlands, New Jersey in addition to working full-time as an attorney specializing in immigration law. On November 3, 2010, Pallone defeated Little by over 16,000 votes, 55% to 43% in what analysts considered a terrible year for Democrats. However, for the first time in his career, Pallone failed to carry his home county of Monmouth.


Pallone is a Progressive Caucus Member. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Native American Caucus, where he has worked on a bipartisan basis to protect the inherent sovereignty of tribal governments and promote the needs of Indian Country. As a senior member of the House Resources Committee — the committee with jurisdiction over all matters regarding the relations of the United States with American Indians and Alaska Natives — he has been a defender of the sovereign status of Indian Tribal governments as independent from the United States.

He also serves as a co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues along with Congressman Ed Royce (previously Joe Knollenberg and Mark Kirk) and was instrumental in garnering the support of 127 members (30%) of the U.S. House of Representatives for the Armenian Caucus.[4] In 2002 he was awarded the Mkhitar Gosh Medal by the President of Armenia.[5]

In 2002, he was awarded India's third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan for his contributions as member of the India Caucus in the Congress.[6]

He was one of the 31 who voted in the House to not count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 United States presidential election.[7]

Pallone received an A on the Drum Major Institute's 2005 Congressional Scorecard on middle-class issues.[8] while the National Taxpayers Union has consistently given Pallone an F ranking on votes that affect taxes, spending, and debt.[9]

Pallone has questioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on its update of flood plain maps in Monmouth County, specifically in the Bayshore area.[10]

Pallone has introduced a bill to modify the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the U.S.'s most important set of fisheries regulations.;[11][12]

On October 3, 2008 Rep. Pallone voted in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program[13] believing that the enumerated powers grant Congress the authority to "purchase assets and equity from financial institutions in order to strengthen its financial sector."

In 2014, Pallone defeated fellow Rep. Anna Eshoo 100 to 90 in a secret-ballot vote to becoming the ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Pallone had been the third-ranking Democrat, and was in line to becoming ranking member after the 2014 midterm elections due to the retirements of John Dingell and Henry Waxman. Pallone was backed by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and the Congressional Black Caucus, the latter which "made a repeated point to stress the importance of Pallone’s seniority. Black lawmakers have a deep appreciation for seniority, as it was historically the quickest way African-American members earned gavels". House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had aggressively campaigned on Eshoo's behalf, while the Steering Committee which was packed with Pelosi allies had recommended Eshoo for the ranking slot by 30 to 19 votes.[14]

After U.S. Rep. Chris Smith stated he does "not construe homosexual rights as human rights", Pallone issued a statement supporting homosexual rights. The statement read, in part, "Representatives in Congress must be promoting the expansion of human rights, not fighting to limit its definition to people that they deem to be appropriate."[15][16]


Pallone opposed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act (H.R. 2019; 113th Congress), which passed in both the House and the Senate. The bill would end taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and divert the money in that fund to pay for research into pediatric cancer through the National Institutes of Health.[17][18] The total funding for research would come to $126 million over 10 years.[17][18] As of 2014, the national conventions got about 23% of their funding from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.[19] Pallone said the bill was "a disingenuous and empty attempt by the Republicans to divert attention from the fact that they have voted to cut research time and time again."[20] Democratic opponents blamed Republicans for $1.5 billion cuts to the National Institutes of Health and said this money would not make it up.[20] Supporters of the bill argued back that the use of this money for pediatric cancer research was better than using it for political campaigns, so the bill should be supported for that reason.[20] Pallone was one of 58 members of Congress that opposed tabling a motion offering articles of impeachment against Donald Trump on December 6, 2017.[21]

Committee assignments[edit]

Frank Pallone beside President Obama who signs the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009.

Caucus memberships[edit]

Party leadership
  • Communications Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee

Other political offices[edit]

In 2002, Pallone turned down an offer to replace embattled Sen. Bob Torricelli as the Democratic nominee for US Senate by Democratic Party leaders. The slot eventually went to Sen. Frank Lautenberg who ended up winning the general election. In 2004-2005, Pallone considered a gubernatorial bid against embattled and unpopular Gov. Jim McGreevey but ended up supporting eventual party nominee winner, then-Senator Jon Corzine.

Early in 2005, Pallone announced his intentions to seek the United States Senate position held at the time by Jon Corzine. Corzine won the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Jersey in June 2005, and Pallone was the first New Jersey politician to officially seek Corzine's Senate seat. Pallone launched "Pallone for New Jersey" to inform New Jersey citizens of his work in the House and his desire to be New Jersey's next Senator. In January 2006, Pallone announced his endorsement of Bob Menendez for Senate in the November 2006 election, ending his bid for the seat.

Pallone was an early and strong endorser of Sen. Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic Party primaries. Pallone traveled to New Hampshire to campaign for Clinton. Clinton eventually lost the primary to Sen. Barack Obama who went on to become President. Pallone also endorsed Frank Lautenberg over Congressman Rob Andrews.

2013 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On January 3, 2013, it was revealed that Pallone was considering another bid for the Senate should Senator Frank Lautenberg elect not to pursue another term in office in 2014.[27] On June 9, 2013, Pallone said he was officially in the race to fill Lautenberg's Senate seat, due to the Senator's death, and could win the Democratic primary against Newark Mayor Cory Booker by running on his progressive congressional record.[28] The family of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg endorsed Pallone on July 8, 2013.[29] The state council of sheet metal workers also endorsed Pallone.[30]

In the August 13, 2013 primary election, Pallone lost to Newark mayor Cory Booker.[31] Booker then won the general election.

Personal life[edit]

Pallone lives with his wife Sarah Hospodor-Pallone and their three children who reside with them in Washington, D.C. He married Hospodor-Pallone in August 1992.


  1. ^ "Pallone Elected Chairman of Energy and Commerce Committee". 20 December 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ "NJ State Senate 11 Race — Nov 08, 1983". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "NJ State Senate 11 Race — Nov 03, 1987". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Avakian, Florence (November 14, 2003). "Karabakh president Ghoukassian starts US tour with successful tribute gala in New York". Armenia Fund USA. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Remarks by Ambassador Arman Kirakossian at the Ceremony honoring Representative Frank Pallone, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues". Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in the USA. June 12, 2002. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "Fund push to AIDS war", The Telegraph (Calcutta), January 12, 2004. Accessed May 26, 2007. "Pallone, a Democrat [sic] Congressman from New Jersey and recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2002 for his contribution towards bringing India and the US closer, said America has promised to make $15 billion available to combat AIDS in 14 hard-hit countries ranging from Haiti to Kenya."
  7. ^ "2005 - FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 7". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 2005-01-06. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  8. ^ Congress at the Midterm: Their 2005 Middle-Class Record. Retrieved June 28, 2006.
  9. ^ NTU Rates Congress Results for the First Session of the 111th Congress. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  10. ^ "Pallone looks for FEMA flood map intermission". Gaffney, Melissa. The Courier. May 8, 2008. May 31, 2008.
  11. ^ "Bill Summary & Status - 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - H.R.1584 - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  12. ^ "Editorial: Of Fish and Flexibility". The New York Times. June 12, 2009.
  13. ^ "2008 - FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Ring, Trudy (February 6, 2015). "New Jersey Rep Gets Blowback on Antigay Statements". The Advocate. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  16. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole (February 5, 2015). "NJ Congressman: Gay rights, civil rights not the same". USA Today. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  17. ^ a b Gibson, Caitlin (14 November 2014). "Federal pediatric medical research act named for Gabriella Miller". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  18. ^ a b "H.R. 2019 - CBO" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  19. ^ Hooper, Molly K. (30 January 2014). "Convention wipeout coming soon?". The Hill. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  20. ^ a b c Kasperowicz, Pete (11 December 2013). "House passes pediatric research bill, Cantor priority". The Hill. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  27. ^ Haberman, Maggie (3 January 2013). "Frank Pallone joins Cory Booker in eyeing New Jersey Senate seat". Politico. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  28. ^ "PALLONE SAYS HE'S IN NJ SENATE RACE". AP. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  29. ^ "Lautenberg family endorses Pallone over 'celebrity' Cory Booker in NJ Senate race". The Hill. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  30. ^ June 19, 2013 "Sheet Metal Workers State Council Endorses Pallone For U.S. Senate"
  31. ^ Celock, John (August 13, 2013). "New Jersey Senate Election: Cory Booker Wins Democratic Primary". Huffington Post.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Howard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Jim Saxton
Preceded by
Bernard Dwyer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 6th congressional district

Preceded by
Greg Walden
Chair of the House Energy Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Eliot Engel
Preceded by
Otherwise Fred Upton

[[Category:Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey]