Blog: Q&A with Senator Bob Menendez

October 12, 2022

“Hispanic Heritage Month is about celebrating the contributions, achievements, and influence of Hispanic Americans on history and culture. However, it is also a time to reflect on the struggles we have faced in getting to this point and the challenges we will face going forward.”

Senator Bob Menendez 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 currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee for the 117th Congress. The Committee is one of the oldest and most revered Committees in the Senate, at a time when world affairs have a dramatic impact on our economy at home. 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.


Read more from housing policy leaders

How does Hispanic Heritage Month intersect with homeownership?
What can the U.S. housing industry do to further educate and aid Hispanic households in attaining homeownership and further contribute to the housing market and U.S. economy?
What should the U.S. housing and home lending industries focus on to create an environment that is more conducive to first-time homebuyers, especially communities of color?

Senator Bob Menendez Biography

Senator Menendez’s career has been a tribute to his desire to protect the powerless from the powerful and ensure fairness for every American. He led the fight in Congress to make sure New Jersey received its fair share of recovery funds to help communities rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, chaired Senate Banking Committee hearings to hold the administration accountable for getting relief resources out of Washington and passed landmark bipartisan legislation providing relief to homeowners hit with unreasonably high flood insurance premiums. 

The son of immigrants, Senator Menendez understands the importance of New Jersey’s Liberty State Park, in the shadow of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, at the gateway for millions of immigrants who came to this nation seeking the American Dream and a better life for them and their children. That’s why he was one of eight Senators who wrote and fought for comprehensive immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate in 2013 with an overwhelming bipartisan show of support. 

Senator Menendez has been widely recognized for his leadership on promoting safe and healthy families. He has championed legislation to support mothers suffering from postpartum depression, help families meet the challenges of autism, and keep young athletes safe from harm on the playing field. He serves on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and has championed increased consumer protection and corporate accountability, fairness in lending, affordable housing, and comprehensive approaches to community revitalization. He served as Chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development where he fought for smart growth, jobs for the 21st Century and updating our aging transportation system. As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, he has sponsored legislation increasing access to health care, advocated for fairness in the tax code to help middle class families get college educations and be able to retire, and Bob has pushed for trade initiatives to ensure America’s global competitiveness. 

Senator Menendez received his B.A. from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and his law degree from Rutgers University. He currently lives in Bergen County with his wife Nadine. He’s the father of two children, Alicia and Robert Jr., and the proud grandfather of Evangelina, Ofelia and Olivia.