Ranking Member's Press

May 22, 2020

Menendez, Blackburn Lead Effort to Protect Free Speech Online

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) have introduced the Open Technology Fund Authorization Act to expand the U.S. government's support for internet freedom by addressing authoritarian regimes' escalating efforts to censor, restrict, and surveil the internet. Senators Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are original cosponsors. Repressive censorship and surveillance have become global phenomena, threatening the universal human rights of free s… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

***VIDEO*** Menendez Publishes Footage of Restricted Committee Business Meeting

WASHINGTON - Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tonight is releasing a video of the entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting that took place earlier today. The footage, which was taken by Menendez's team, comes after Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) unilaterally prevented the press and public from viewing the controversial meeting by refusing to allow an official Senate live-stream video recording. With an agenda centered on voting on a controversial political nominee… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

SFRC Approves Menendez, Risch Resolution Lauding State Department Professionals for their Efforts to Bring Home Americans Stranded Abroad During Pandemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today led the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in approving a bipartisan resolution to commend the State Department professionals for their dedication repatriating United States citizens and legal permanent residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resolution now moves on to the Floor for consideration by the full Senate. The State Department's R… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Committee Passes Menendez Resolution Recognizing 50 Years of Partnership with ASEAN

WASHINGTON - Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J) issued the following statement after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved his Resolution (S.Res.406) recognizing the decades of cooperation between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and its ten members, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. "For more than fifty years, ASEAN has helped unite one of the most dynamic, rapidly-cha… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Menendez, Colleagues Applaud Approval of Senate Bipartisan Resolution Calling for the Release of Cuban Activist Jose Daniel Ferrer

WASHINGTON - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today applauded the approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of S. Res.454, a resolution calling for the immediate release of Cuban democracy activist Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was imprisoned on October 1, 2019 and arbitrarily convicted on April 3, 2020 to a sentenc… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, issued the following statements after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved their bipartisan bill to bolster U.S. government resources to bring back Americans held hostage or unlawfully detained abroad. The Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountab… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Ranking Member Menendez Statement on Trump Administration’s Withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the Trump Administration's withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, which violated U.S. law. The Open Skies Treaty is a key part of America's international arms control strategy. The Open Skies Treaty allows the 34 signatory countries, including the United States and Russia, to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other's … Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Ranking Member Menendez Opening Remarks at Committee Business Meeting

WASHINGTON - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the beginning of today's Foreign Relations Committee business meeting. "Mr. Chairman, I have a two preliminary matters that I would like to address. As an initial matter, I ask for unanimous consent to enter into the record of this meeting a number of items related to the nomination of Michael Pack. These materials include letters from all of the democrat… Continue Reading


May 20, 2020

Leading Senators Outline Standards for Trump Admin’s Support of Human Rights Worldwide ahead of Controversial State Department Commission Report

WASHINGTON - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with 19 of his Democratic Senate colleagues, today sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to raise significant concerns about the objectives of the Department of State's Commission on Unalienable Rights. Senator Menendez has questioned the purpose of the Commission since its formation as a 10-member body lacking the diversity of viewpoints required for advising the U.S. State D… Continue Reading


May 20, 2020

Menendez, Rubio Mark World Press Freedom Day with Bipartisan Resolution

WASHINGTON - Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations' Subcommittee that oversees human rights, today led their Senate colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. The resolution underscores the sacrifices that journalists around the world have borne in pursuit of truth and accountability. The resolution also acknowledges increas… Continue Reading


May 20, 2020

***VIDEO*** Ranking Member Menendez Congratulates Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Second Inauguration

WASHINGTON - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released a video message congratulating Tsai Ing-wen on her second inauguration as President of Taiwan. "Taiwan's democracy is one of the world's great success stories, and the Taiwanese people's embrace of the rule of law and of democracy is an inspiration the world over," the Senator said. "As the international community works together to combat COVID-19, it critically important for … Continue Reading


May 20, 2020

SFRC Democrats Confront Committee Chairman for Holding Controversial Non-COVID Business Meeting While Limiting Press Access

WASHINGTON - Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was joined by the entire Democratic bench of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in sending a pair of letters today to Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) to reinforce their opposition to his plans to convene a committee business meeting without any major legislation related to fighting COVID-19, against multiple objections from committee members, and while limiting press and public access. With a proposed agenda centered on voting on controversial p… Continue Reading


May 19, 2020

Menendez Calls on DoJ to Review Former Rep. Rivera’s Work as a Foreign Agent for the Maduro Regime

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today called on the Department of Justice to review whether former Florida Republican Congressman David Rivera violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) in his work for the regime of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and Venezuela's state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). The Senator's letter follows reports that PDVSA offered to pay millions to the F… Continue Reading


May 18, 2020

Ranking Member Menendez Announces New Legislation to Protect State Department and Other Inspectors General

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today announced he will introduce new legislation to protect Inspectors General for the State Department and other Foreign Affairs agencies from removal and bolster Congress's ability to review attempts to remove Inspectors General. The Senator's bill would also require that Acting Inspectors General be career officials, not political appointees, and would mandate recusal by agency heads an… Continue Reading


May 16, 2020

Menendez & Engel Launch Probe into Removal of State Department Inspector General

Washington- Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today launched an investigation into President Trump's firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. Writing to the White House, the Department of State, and the State Department Office of Inspector General, the lawmakers requested that administration officials preserve all records related to the firing … Continue Reading


May 15, 2020

Menendez, Rubio, Risch Applaud Senate Passage of Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

WASHINGTON - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statements after the Senate unanimously approved an amended version of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (S.3744). The bill is an important step in countering the totalitarian Chinese government's widespread and horrific human rights abuses in … Continue Reading


May 14, 2020

Ranking Member Menendez Statement on Michael Pack

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement on the nomination of Michael Pack to be CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media. Mr. Pack's nomination has been held up due to serious and outstanding concerns about inappropriate and potentially unlawful activity involving his business dealings. "Today the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG) informed the Senate Foreign R… Continue Reading


May 12, 2020

Menendez, Engel, Thompson & Nadler Reject Administration’s Legal Explanation for Halting Asylum Processing

Washington-Today, Ranking Member Bob Menendez of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Chairmen Eliot L. Engel of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Bennie G. Thompson of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Jerrold L. Nadler of the House Committee on the Judiciary rejected the Trump Administration's legal justification for its decision to halt asylum processing during the COVID-19 pandemic. After seeking answers on this issue for nearly two months, the lawmakers received a… Continue Reading


May 12, 2020

Senate Unanimously Approves Menendez, Inhofe Legislation to Work Towards Taiwan’s Inclusion in WHO

WASHINGTON -Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), co-chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, issued the following statement after the Senate unanimously passed S. 249, their legislation calling for the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for Taiwan to regain observer status in the World Health Organization. "As the world bears witness to the risks and costs of China's decades-long efforts to block Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization, the United S… Continue Reading


May 08, 2020

Menendez Remarks on Effort to Override Trump Veto of War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON - Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support an effort to override President Trump's veto of S.J. Res. 68, a bipartisan joint resolution demanding the removal of U.S. troops from hostilities against Iran that are not authorized by Congress. "We have the responsibility to ensure that the Executive is effectively deploying every diplomatic tool it can before rushing recklessl… Continue Reading

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