Bob Menendez

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Bob Menendez
Bob Menendez.jpg
U.S. Senate, New Jersey
In office
January 18, 2006-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 9
PredecessorJon S. Corzine (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next generalNovember 2018
Campaign $$37,570,454
AppointedJanuary 18, 2006
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey's 13th District
New Jersey Senate
New Jersey General Assembly
Mayor of Union City, New Jersey
Union City Board of Education (Chief Financial Officer)
Bachelor'sSaint Peter's College
J.D.Rutgers School of Law in Newark
Date of birthJanuary 1, 1954
Place of birthNew York City, New York
Net worth$498,502
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Robert "Bob" Menendez (b. January 1, 1954) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate from New Jersey. He was first appointed to the Senate in 2005. He won re-election in 2012.[1]

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Menendez served in the U.S. House of Representatives.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Menendez is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Menendez was born New York City to Cuban immigrants, but his family moved to New Jersey where he graduated from Union Hill High School in Union City. He earned B.A. from Saint Peter's College in Jersey City and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law in Newark.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Menendez's academic, professional and political career:[2]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Menedez serves on the following Senate committees[3]:


Menendez served on the following committees:[4]

  • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development (Chairman)
  • Committee on Finance
    • Subcommittee on Health Care
    • Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-Term Growth
    • Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues
    • Subcommittee on European Affairs
    • Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[5] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Menendez's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security


Menendez presided over a hearing that began September 3, 2013. The hearing debated whether or not the Senate should authorize military intervention in Syria. Syria was accused of using chemical weapons in an attack on 1,500 of its own people. Menendez personally supported taking action in Syria saying, "It is my view that the use of military force in Syria is justified and necessary given the Assad regime's reprehensible use of chemical weapons and gross violation of international law." He suggested attacking the specific regime units that carried out the chemical attacks in Eastern Damascus.[7]

Response to Putin
Menendez had a strong reaction to the op-ed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, that appeared on the New York Times website on September 11, 2013. Putin said in the piece that discouraged military action in Syria, "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation." The line refers to Obama's speech on Tuesday night where he said, "That's what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth." Menendez said the Putin op-ed made him question the seriousness of the Russian deal with Syria. He said, "I almost wanted to vomit. I worry when someone who came up through the KGB tells us what is in our national interests and what is not. It really raises the question of how serious the Russian proposal is."[8]

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria authorization

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Yea3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria. It was approved by a 10-7 vote.[9][10]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[9]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that made up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[11] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Menendez was one of the seven Democrats who approved the authorization.[12]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Menendez voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[13]


No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Menendez voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[14]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Menendez voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[16]

Retailer security breaches

Menendez sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking if they need Congressional help to hold retailers responsible for security breaches in light of the 2013 breach at Target. He said, "Our country’s consumers depend upon safe and secure transactions, and especially at this crucial time of year, our country’s retailers must commit to fulfilling that expectation. Unfortunately, these data breaches are becoming increasingly common. The 40-million compromised accounts represent one of the largest corporate security breaches in history, potentially exposing millions of people who shopped this holiday season to fraudulent charges, identity theft, and other inexcusable hardships. Our nation’s regulators must be vigilant to ensure a safe and secure environment to protect all involved."[17]


Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Menendez voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[18]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Menendez voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Menendez voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[20]

Campaign themes

For 2012, Menendez's campaign themes included:[21]

  • Job creation
  • Tax relief
  • Maintaining Social Security



See also: United States Senate elections in New Jersey, 2012

Menendez won re-election in 2012.[1] He was unopposed in the June 5 Democratic primary and defeated Joe Kyrillos (R) and Jeff Boss (I) in the November general election.

U.S. Senate, New Jersey, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRobert Menendez Incumbent 58.9% 1,987,680
     Republican Joe Kyrillos 39.4% 1,329,534
     Libertarian Kenneth R. Kaplan 0.5% 16,803
     Green Ken Wolski 0.5% 15,801
     Jersey Strong Independents Gwen Diakos 0.3% 9,359
     Totally Independent Candidate J. David Dranikoff 0.1% 3,834
     America First Inder "Andy" Soni 0.1% 3,593
     Responsibility Fairness Integrity Robert "Turk" Turkavage 0.1% 3,532
     Socialist Party USA Gregory Pason 0.1% 2,249
     No Slogan Eugene Martin Lavergne 0.1% 2,198
     Reform Nation Daryl Mikell Brooks 0.1% 2,066
Total Votes 3,376,649
Source: New Jersey Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


Robert Menendez vs. Joe Kyrillos
Poll Robert Menendez Joe KyrillosSomeone ElseDon't know/NAMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll of Likely Voters (August 27 - September 2, 2012)
Stockton College
(October 12-18, 2012)
Survey USA
(October 17,18 2012)
Inquirer New jersey
(October 23-25, 2012)
AVERAGES 51.25% 33.75% 1.25% 4.75% +/-3.58 865
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Menendez is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Menendez raised a total of $37,570,454 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[30]

Bob Menendez's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. Senate (New Jersey) Won $17,344,783
2006 U.S. Senate (New Jersey) Won $11,950,586
2004 US House (New Jersey, District 13) Won $3,624,587
2002 US House (New Jersey, District 13) Won $2,461,956
2000 US House (New Jersey, District 13) Won $2,188,542
Grand Total Raised $37,570,454


Breakdown of the source of Menendez's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Menendez won election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Menendez's campaign committee raised a total of $17,344,783 and spent $16,226,545.[31]

Cost per vote

Menendez spent $8.16 per vote received in 2012.

Out-of-state donations

According to an Open Secrets report, Menendez ranked among the top ten senate candidates receiving out-of-state donations during the 2012 election cycle. He received $7,366,999, or 54.6%, of his donations from outside of New Jersey. [32]


Breakdown of the source of Menendez's campaign funds before the 2006 election.

Menendez was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and kept the seat he acquired in his appointment earlier that year. His campaign committee raised a total of $11,950,586 and spent $13,328,665.[33]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[34]

Menendez most often votes with:

Menendez least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Menendez is a "moderate Democratic leader," as of July 1, 2013.[35]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Menendez missed 47 of 2,212 roll call votes from January 2006 to April 2013. This amounts to 2.1%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[36]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Menendez paid his congressional staff a total of $3,116,650 in 2011. He ranks 8th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 10th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, New Jersey ranks 7th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[37]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Menendez's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $266,005 and $714,999. That averages to $490,502, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Menendez ranked as the 82nd most wealthy senator in 2012.[38]

Bob Menendez Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net Worth% Difference from previous year

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Menendez tied with one other Senator, ranking 15th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. Senate.[39]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Menendez ranked 31st in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. Senate.[40]

Political positions

Voting with party


Bob Menendez voted with the Democratic Party 97% of the time, which ranked 11th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[41]


Menendez has two children from a previous marriage. In December 2013, he got engaged to Alicia Mucci in the Capitol Rotunda.[42]

Recent news

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External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN "New Jersey Senate Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "MENENDEZ, Robert, (1954 - )," Accessed July 1, 2013
  3. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  4. Robert Menendez, United States Senator for New Jersey "Committee Assignments for the 112th Congress"
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7., "Sen. Menendez to hold hearings on whether to attack Syria", accessed September 3, 2013
  8. CNN, "Vladimir Putin's comments on American exceptionalism, Syria cause a fuss", accessed September 12, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  12. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  14. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. The Hill, "Menendez asks FTC if it needs help in Target probe", accessed December 27, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  21. Bob Menendez campaign site "Issues," Accessed March 9, 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. Open Secrets "Donor history for Bob Menendez" Accessed April 25, 2013
  31. Open Secrets "Bob Menendez 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 26, 2013
  32. Open Secrets, "More than 60 Lawmakers Relied Mostly on Out-of-State Money", May 7, 2013
  33. Open Secrets "Bob Menendez 2006 Election Data," Accessed October 29, 2011
  34. OpenCongress, "Robert Menendez," Accessed August 8, 2013
  35. Gov Track "Bob Menendez," Accessed July 1, 2013
  36. GovTrack, "Menendez," Accessed April 11, 2013
  37. LegiStorm "Bob Menendez"
  38., "Menendez, (D-NJ), 2012"
  39. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 6, 2013
  40. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  41. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  42. The Hill, "Menendez engaged", accessed December 10, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Jon Corzine
United States Senate - New Jersey
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Frank Guarini
United States House of Representatives - District 13
Succeeded by
Albio Sires
Preceded by
New Jersey Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Jersey General Assembly
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mayor of Union City, New Jersey
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Union City Board of Education (Chief Financial Officer)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Union City Board of Education
Succeeded by