Rush Holt, 59, is a resident of Hopewell Township, N.J. Born in West Virginia, he inherited his interest in politics from his parents. His father was the youngest person ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate, at age 29. His mother served as Secretary of State of West Virginia and was the first woman to hold that position.
Rep. Holt earned his B.A. in Physics from Carleton College in Minnesota and completed his Master’s and Ph.D. at NYU. He has held positions as a teacher, Congressional Science Fellow, and arms control expert at the U.S. State Department where he monitored the nuclear programs of countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union. From 1989 until he launched his 1998 congressional campaign, Holt was Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the largest research facility of Princeton University and the largest center for research in alternative energy in New Jersey. He has conducted extensive research on alternative energy and has his own patent for a solar energy device. Holt was also a five-time winner of the game show “Jeopardy.”
An active Member of Congress and a strong voice for his constituents, Rep. Holt serves on the Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Holt is the only scientist and only Member from the New Jersey delegation to sit on the Intelligence Committee. Holt is also the Chairman of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel. Created at the start of the 110th Congress in January 2007, the Panel is working to strengthen oversight of the intelligence community by ensuring that policymakers receive accurate assessments, civil liberties are safeguarded, and the intelligence community is protecting Americans.
Rep. Holt has won several significant victories in Washington. He helped secure more than $700 million in new federal funding for science and technology research. He passed an amendment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund providing millions in funding for protecting open space and he was instrumental in adding the lower Delaware River to the National Wild and ScenicRiver program. He has led the effort to increase rail/transit security funding, most recently succeeding in doubling federal funding to $400 million in 2008.As a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Holt helped write the College Cost Reduction Act – the largest college aid expansion since the GI Bill – which cuts student loan interest rates in half, increases individual Pell Grant amounts by $1,090 over five years, and forgives loans for graduates who provide 10 years of public service. The bill also includes Holt's provision to provide upfront tuition assistance – up to $16,000 per year – for math, science and foreign language teachers – supporting Holt’s effort to strengthen such education in the U.S.
Rep. Holt has worked to ensure that Central New Jersey residents receive a return investment on their tax dollars. In the Fiscal Year 2008 budget, Holt secured $26.8 million in new federal funding for communications and intelligence programs and activities at FortMonmouth. In the same budget, he secured $735,000 for a redevelopment project along Route 29 in Trenton, $150,000 in federal funding for DelawareTownship to build a multi-use community center, and $117,500 for new equipment for South River first responders. He also has secured $1.6 million to repair Route 1 in MiddlesexCounty. In his time in office, Holt has helped secure more than a hundred million dollars to improve roads, reduce flood damage, build libraries, and protect historic sites in the five counties he represents.
Throughout New Jersey's 12th district, Rep. Holt has developed a reputation as a tireless advocate for his constituents. He has assisted over 18,000 constituents who have contacted his office with inquiries, producing resolutions for problems ranging from Medicare to veterans’ healthcare to immigration. He started and facilitates the Einstein’s Alley initiative, which seeks to expand and maintain the area’s job base by attracting and supporting innovative companies. He has also made hundreds of school visits and held dozens of town meetings and forums on topics such as the War in Iraq, Social Security, Alternative Energy, Economic Growth, Prescription Drugs, Student Aid, Privacy, Long-Term Care, and Sprawl.
Rep. Holt has received numerous awards and citations for his work, including the Planned Parenthood Community Service Award, the Biotech Legislator of the Year, and the Science Coalition’s Champion of Science award. The magazine Scientific-American has also named Holt one of the 50 national “visionaries” contributing to “a brighter technological future.” He is also one of only two Members of Congress to receive a lifetime 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Recently, The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy awarded Holt an A+ for standing up for middle class families in its 2007 Congressional Scorecard, Citizens for Global Solutions gave Holt an “A+ and Extra Credit” on its 2008 Congressional Report Card, and the Children’s Defense Fund Action Council issued Holt a 100 percent score on its Congressional Score Card.
Rep. Holt is married to Margaret Lancefield, a physician and Medical Director of the Princeton charity care clinic. They have three grown children, Michael, Dejan and Rachel, and seven grandchildren, Niala, Noah, Boaz, Varun, Rohan, Cecile, and Joshua.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANK PALLONE, JR.
In the 110th 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.
In January 2007, Pallone was chosen by his colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to chair the powerful Subcommittee on Health.
The subcommittee has sole jurisdiction over Medicaid, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and shares jurisdiction of Medicare with the Ways and Means Committee. It oversees public health, biomedical programs, food and drug safety, mental health and research, hospital construction and all health care homeland security-related concerns.
Pallone continues to serve on the Committee's Telecommunications & Internet and the Environment & Hazardous Materials Subcommittees. 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 and Oceans Subcommittee.
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 a vital 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.
Throughout his tenure in Congress, Pallone's legislative accomplishments have been geared to the protection and restoration of environmental resources and the expansion of health care to the uninsured.
Pallone has successfully worked to stop ocean dumping and offshore oil and gas drilling. 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 recognized as a leader on such issues as expanding health care access and affordability, protecting the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, ensuring food safety, strengthening the federal Superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites, and strengthening the nation's clean water laws.
Frank Pallone, Jr., was born on October 30, 1951, in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he grew up and where he still resides. The son of a policeman, Pallone attended the 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 made a major priority of 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. Tourism, primarily centered in the coastal areas, is vital to the regional economy. The Army's Fort Monmouth, a major civilian employer in its own right, has spurred the growth of the region's significant high technology industry. Naval Weapons Station Earle adds to the important role played by the Defense Department in the area economy. While the district has a predominantly suburban character, the cities of New Brunswick, 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.