Bob Menendez

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Bob Menendez currently serves as the junior Senator of New Jersey

Robert Menendez, a Democrat, has represented the state of New Jersey in the Senator since 2006.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Bob Menendez voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

As a Representative in the House Menendez voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Michael Mukasey nomination

Sen. Robert Menendez voted AGAINST the confirmation Bush appointee Michael Mukasey as Attorney General of the U.S. on Nov. 8, 2007. Six Democrats and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined most Republicans in the 53-40 vote confirming Mukasey. No Republicans voted against him. [1] Mukasey's nomination was surrounded by controversy after he called waterboarding "repugnant" but refused to say whether it was illegal under anti-torture laws.

Main article: Michael Mukasey

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Relationship with non-profit group

In early September 2006, federal authorities delivered a subpoena to the North Hudson County Action Corp., a non-profit organization in Union City, NJ. Specifically, they sought records of a rental deal between the agency and Menendez.

In 1983, Menendez purchased a three-story brick house on a residential street in Union City for $92,000. He and his family lived there briefly, but ultimately moved out and began renting it as a commercial property. In 1994, he entered a rental agreement with the North Hudson group, who planned to use the home for administrative offices. Menendez charged them $3,100 per month, and later raised the figure to $4,000 per month.

During a nine-year period in which he served Hudson County in the House, Menendez received over $300,000 from the group in rent payments. As a congressman, Menendez often helped secure funds for the non-profit organization. In 1998, Menendez helped the agency win designation as a federally qualified health care center, a title that made it eligible for federal health care grants. In the eight years that followed this designation, the agency collected $9.6 million in federal grants. In 2001, the group honored Menendez as it’s “man of the year” and named a pavilion after him.

Menendez argued that before renting out the house in 1994, he obtained clearance from the House Ethics Committee. He has stated that there was nothing improper about his actions because he never negotiated directly with agency officials and the organization paid slightly below-market rent for the house. In 2003, Menendez sold the house for $450,000. The new owner continued to rent the house to the North Hudson Community Action Corp.; at a rate of $3,700 per month. [2] [3]

Hiring controversy with top advisor

In September of 2006, a tape emerged of Donald Scarinci - Menendez's chilhood friend and closest political advisor - pressuring a Union City, NJ psychiatrist with several contracts with the prison system to hire an additional physician known to Scarinci. In the secretly recorded conversation, Scarinci told the physician that doing so would be a favor to Menendez, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. When the tapes content became public, Menendez severed ties with Scarinci, claiming that he had used his name and influence without his knowledge and committed a serious breach of good judgment. [4]



Menendez was born January 1, 1954 in New York City but grew up in Union City, New Jersey.

In 1971, at age 17, while attending Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, he launched a successful petition drive against his mentor, then-Union City Mayor William Musto, to reform the local school board. He was elected to the Union City Board of Education, and would later testify against Musto in court, which resulted in a prison sentence for Musto. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Peter's, he attended Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, from which he obained his law degree, and later became a lawyer in private practice.

He was elected mayor of Union City in 1986 and served until 1992. While serving as mayor, he also served in New Jersey Legislature (a very common practice for New Jersey mayors), serving in the General Assembly from 1987 until 1991 and in the New Jersey Senate from 1991 to 1993.

House of Representatives

In 1992, Menendez was elected to the U.S. House. In 2002 he was elected chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, ranking him third in seniority, the highest Congressional rank of any Hispanic in history. [5] In the 107th Congress, he became the chair of both the Democratic Task Force on Education and the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security. In 1996 he was briefly a candidate in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Bill Bradley, but backed out and the seat was won by fellow Democrat Robert Torricelli.

Although he is often portrayed as the political boss of Hudson County, he strongly dislikes this appellation, particularly because, according to a close source quoted in the December 11, 2005 Union City Reporter, "there is no boss of Hudson County." [6]

Senate career

In January 2006 Jon Corzine appointed Menendez to fill the seat made vacant by Corzine's resignation from the Senate to serve as Governor of New Jersey. Menendez was a controversial choice for the Senate appointment due to ties to the Hudson County Democratic machine. The New York Times has repeatedly reported about some of his shady relationships and editorialized against him. [7]

DSCC chairmanship

On November 25, 2008, Menendez was named chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the fundraising and recruitment arm for Senate Democrats. Announcing the move, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Menendez possessed a "mastery of policy" equaled by his "mastery of politics." Menendez succeeds Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the position; Schumer helped Democrats grab six seats in 2006 and additional seven seats in 2008.[2]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated three-year Republican State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr to face Menendez in his November 2006 bid for reelection. On August 21, 2006, Kean proposed restrictions on lobbying, gifts and earmarking as part of a plan to reform Congress. In addition, he attacked Menendez for his behavior in Congress, arguing that, "He has operated on a quid pro quo basis for essentially his entire career." [8]

Menendez defeated Kean in a widely watched race.(See U.S. congressional elections in 2006)

Democrats nominated Albio Sires and Republicans nominated John J. Guarini to contest the November 2006 election for his house seat, temporarily being filled by Sires. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [9]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000699&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Bob Menendez
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Bob Menendez. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
502 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4744
Web Email Website

District Office- Newark:
One Gateway Center
Suite 1100
Newark, New Jersey 07102
973.645.0502 fax

District Office- Barrington:
208 White Horse Pike, Suite 18
Barrington, New Jersey 08007
856.546.1526 fax


Articles and Resources



Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Housing Transportation and Community Development, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs/Subcommittee on Securities Insurance and Investment, Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Energy, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on National Parks, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations/Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations Democracy and Human Rights, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations/Subcommittee on European Affairs, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations/Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations/Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
First Took Current Office:
January 18, 2006
Next Election:
November 6, 2012
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
U.S. House of Representatives, New Jersey Senate, Mayor of Union City, New Jersey Assembly, Union City Board of Education, Appointed to the U.S. Senate effective January 18, 2006,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. One Gateway Center, Suite 1100, Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone: 973.645.3030 / Fax: 973.645.0502
2. 208 White Horse Pike, Suite 18, Barrington, New Jersey 08007
Phone: 856.757.5353 / Fax: 856.546.1526

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: January 1, 1954

  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Jonathan Allen, "Schumer To Step Down from DSCC; Menendez To Take Over," CQ Politics, November 25, 2008