SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ'S STORY IS A QUINTESSENTIAL AMERICAN STORY.
He grew up the son of Cuban immigrants in a tenement building in Union City and has risen to become one of 100 United States Senators. He is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and served as Chairman in the 113th Congress. He has earned a national reputation for his international leadership in the Senate, which pairs with his long-time reputation as a fighter for New Jersey families who puts their economic security ahead of powerful special interests.
Bob graduates from Union Hill High School in Union City, New Jersey and credits his teacher Gail Harper for instilling in him the confidence to overcome his fear of public speaking.
Bob makes his first foray into politics at age 19, fighting to level the playing field for students. He wins a seat on the Union City Board of Education.
With the help of federal financial aid, Bob becomes the first in his family to go to college and graduates from St. Peters University in New Jersey.
He remains committed to making college affordable for all Americans to this day.
Bob graduates from Rutgers School of Law. His son, Robert, Jr. graduates from the same law school 32 years later.
Bob gets elected Mayor of Union City, New Jersey after taking on his powerful hometown mayor and a corrupt political establishment.
While serving in the New Jersey State Legislature, Bob authors and passes New Jersey's landmark Bias Crimes Law—among the first in the country to make crimes committed on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation an aggravated offense with stiffer penalties-that served as a national model for state and federal anti-hate laws across the U.S.
Bob gets elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by the 13th District in New Jersey, where he becomes a powerful voice on issues such as immigration, national security, and the interests of working families.
After New Jersey's governor appointed him to the U.S. Senate for over nine months, the people of New Jersey elect Bob to represent them full-time.
Bob helps write and pass the historic Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to nearly one million New Jersey residents and strengthening community health centers.
In response to the 2008 financial crisis, he helps write and negotiate the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and plays an instrumental role in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency designed to serve as a cop on the beat to protect consumers.
Bob passes comprehensive immigration reform legislation through the Senate and convinces President Obama to create the DACA program.
After forcing FEMA to reopen Superstorm Sandy claim reviews, he spearheads legislation to reform flood insurance policy, protect New Jerseyans from premium hikes, and refund homeowners who overpaid.
Bob is sworn in as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first Latino to lead the powerful committee.
Bob also secures $185 million in funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project, which would replace New Jersey's century-old infrastructure with a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel and ensure New Jersey's long-term economic viability.
Bob authors the Autism CARES Act, which reforms federal autism programs, ensures they continue for 5 years, and creates new support systems for young adults transitioning out of school-based aid.
After fighting for its original passage in 2010, Bob leads the effort to renew the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
The bill extends the World Trade Center Health Program to 2090, and provides full compensation to survivors and first responders through the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund.
Bob works to convince the Obama Administration to permanently ban drilling in large swaths of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey. While the Trump Administration has tried to undo this progress, Bob led a coalition of bipartisan lawmakers and Governors together in stiff opposition to protect New Jersey's coastline.
Despite numerous attempts to take health care away from 130 million Americans and end Medicaid as we know it, Bob helps stop Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans' disastrous health care repeal plan from becoming law.
After fighting back against the Trump Administration's budget cuts, voting against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and passing signature legislation like the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, Bob is re-elected to his third full term in the U.S. Senate by the people of New Jersey.
As Democratic leader of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob becomes a leading voice in Washington conducting oversight of the Trump Administration's national security and foreign policy agenda. The Foreign Relations Committee perch allows Bob to serve as vigilant watchdog of our nation's diplomatic and security architecture and ensure that the Trump Administration respects the role of Congress in overseeing U.S. foreign policy.
Bob fights for New Jersey consumers and passes the TRACED Act-the most significant crackdown on illegal, unwanted robocalls since "Do Not Call." He also helps permanently extend the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund and expand federal autism services to Americans with ASD throughout their lives with the Autism CARES Act of 2019.
As the world was rocked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Bob has done everything in his power to deliver billions in critical federal resources to keep New Jerseyans safe, healthy, and prepared—despite the Trump Administration’s botched response.
Bob helped pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, to provide federal support for local hospitals, families and small businesses during this public health emergency.