Despite having the highest population density of any state, New Jersey is called the Garden State for a reason. Our farmers produce fresh, abundant quantities of some of the nation’s most popular fruits and vegetables, which help keep our families healthy and generate more than $1 billion for the state’s economy.
Senator Menendez believes our great nation is built upon the fundamental values of liberty and democracy and that we must ensure those values are the bedrock of our society. Every person -- regardless of their race, gender, country of origin, religion or sexual orientation -- is equal and should be treated as such. Anything less undermines the fundamental values upon which our country was founded.
Combating High Gas Prices
Senator Menendez understands that for too long Americans have been at the mercy of oil and gasoline prices: when prices go up we all feel the pinch. Unfortunately, many people do not have an alternative to astronomical gasoline prices – they have to drive to get to work and to get their kids to school, no matter the cost. That is why Senator Menendez is working to enact policies that will allow us to use less oil, or use no oil at all.
The economic and housing crisis that began devastating families in 2007 and 2008 shows that we need responsibility and accountability on Wall Street. The growth of the financial services industry in New Jersey along the Hudson River is a testament to the benefits that strong financial institutions can bring to our state. However, we must have effective accountability and consumer protections to prevent excessive risks that can wipe out the savings and jobs of middle class families. As a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Menendez has always worked to ensure our financial system is both strong and fair for consumers.
Economy & The Middle Class
New Jerseyans from all walks of life are working hard to provide for their families, save for retirement and build a better life for their children. In these tough times, many families are struggling despite their willingness to work hard and reduce their own spending. Senator Menendez is working to help foster an economic recovery, with investments that create jobs and lay the foundation for long-term economic security, and tax relief for the middle class.
Nothing is more fundamental to the development of our children than a quality education. Senator Menendez was the first member of his family to graduate from college; he knows first-hand the power that an education has on a young person's life and the opportunities it unlocks. Beyond the impact it can have on individual lives, ensuring that all of our children have access to a quality and affordable education helps lay the groundwork for a stronger economy in the 21st Century.
Our energy future is closely tied to our prosperity and the future of our planet. We cannot drill our way to a viable energy strategy. Senator Menendez believes it is time to accelerate our transition from fossil fuels to clean, limitless, renewable, domestic energy. By spurring innovation and development of modern energy sources, we have the opportunity to help families save money, create new jobs and clean our air.
Some in Washington have declared war on the environment and any efforts to address pollution or climate change, but Senator Menendez works tirelessly to fight back. In the Garden State, we cherish our natural treasures. Protecting clean water and air, preserving recreational open spaces, and creating transit-oriented, walkable communities are important to ensuring a better quality of life for our communities, families, and children.
Foreign Relations & National Security
Today, more than ever, the impact of international developments are hitting home here in the U.S. Our national economy and national security are increasingly dependent on world events and people, places, and issues thousands of miles away from New Jersey. As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Menendez is working toward a robust American foreign policy that uses “smart power” to achieve our international objectives, maintains a level playing field for New Jersey companies doing business abroad, and supports basic human rights and freedoms for all people around the globe.
All New Jerseyans are deeply affected by our health care system. Throughout Senator Menendez’s tenure in Congress, he has consistently fought to help New Jerseyans afford the health care they deserve and to help spur the medical breakthroughs that will cure our most debilitating diseases. This work includes helping to ensure that middle class and working families can afford something as basic as taking their children to the doctor for routine checkups. It also includes standing up for stem cell research so that there is hope for families, like his, affected by devastating diseases like Alzheimer's.
Senator Menendez believes that every family should have a safe place to live and call their own. Unfortunately, the global economic crisis that resulted from the tsunami of millions of bad mortgages and foreclosures has devastated far too many families and left some without a home.
Whether your family was part of the voyage on the Mayflower, one of the millions that stepped off a ship at Ellis Island, part of those who were brought to this nation against their own will, or, like Senator Menendez’s parents, came to this country searching for freedom, the vast majority of Americans have a personal connection to immigration. Unfortunately, our current immigration laws have failed us. That is why Senator Menendez supports balanced comprehensive immigration reform that will enforce our laws, secure our borders and protect our national security, while also reflecting current economic realities and respecting the core values of family unity and fundamental fairness.
Working men and women are the backbone of our state and country – and they are the reason our economy is so resilient. Because of their productivity, we will be able not only to complete an economic recovery, but we will be able to build an even stronger, more secure economy for the 21st Century. It is imperative that these members of our workforce can find good-paying jobs, are paid fair wages, are protected by fair labor standards and are able to freely join a union that can defend their rights.
Senator Menendez knows that it is a critical time for our economy right now. While the job market is slowly recovering from the deepest recession since World War II, we still have a long way to go. And we cannot move forward without securing our nation’s foundation. That’s because fostering an economy built to last in the 21st Century requires a state of the art infrastructure.
Military & Veterans
Senator Menendez believes a grateful nation not only goes to a Veterans’ Day observance or marches in a Memorial Day parade, as we should— but a grateful nation shows its gratitude in the opportunities and health care we provide our veterans, in how we take care of their disabilities, and for those who make the ultimate sacrifice, how we take care of their survivors,. That’s why he fights to provide opportunities for veterans to succeed when they leave the military and to ensure that we take care of those who have sacrificed for us with benefits that can adequately provide for them and their families.
Reforming Wall Street
Senator Menendez helped lead the fight to enact the new Wall Street Reform Law, which cracks down on the big Wall Street banks and mortgage lenders that gambled with families’ money and caused the financial crisis that devastated both their jobs and retirement accounts. As a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Menendez has worked to ensure that our financial system is both strong and fair for consumers.
Our seniors have given so much to our communities, and we have a responsibility to ensure that the benefits they have paid for their entire working life are there for them when they retire. Senator Menendez has made it a priority throughout his career in public service to help ensure that Social Security will be there to provide the retirement security seniors have earned, and to strengthen Medicare and provide access to affordable, quality health care, including comprehensive prescription drug coverage and support for family caregivers.
Technology & Innovation
New Jersey has long been the birthplace of innovation, from the days when Thomas Edison took an invention from his workshop and lit up the world. The breakthroughs that happen here, from the light bulb to disease-eradicating medicines, have not only changed lives, but they have fueled economic prosperity.
As the Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, which has jurisdiction over mass transit, Senator Menendez helped pass MAP-21, a bipartisan surface transportation bill that will protect and create over 3 million jobs, including over 50,000 in New Jersey. The Senator also helped guarantee New Jersey $70 million more per year in federal formula mass transit funding that will allow NJ Transit to expand service without raising fares.
Women, Children, & Families
Senator Menendez has spent his career fighting for change that makes a real difference in the lives of New Jersey’s families. Every day, he works to make our communities safer, provide tools to help parents with the challenges of caring for their families, and give all New Jersey children the chance to fulfill their full potential.
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