Home>Congress>Menendez gets seats on transportation, homeland security committees

Rep. Robert J. Menendez. (Photo: Rob Menendez via Twitter).

Menendez gets seats on transportation, homeland security committees

By David Wildstein, January 26 2023 1:22 pm

Rep. Robert J. Menendez (D-New Jersey) has been assigned to two of his top choices for committee assignments in the 118th Congress: Transportation & Infrastructure and Homeland Security.

Menendez has a longtime interest in transportation issues.  He was an intern at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey while he was in law school, and Gov. Phil Murphy later nominated him to serve as  Port Authority commissioner.  Menendez resigned from that post earlier this year to take his seat in Congress.

As a Port Authority commissioner and as a congressional candidate, Menendez had advocated for federal funding for New Jersey Transportation projects, including mass transit.

“Securing a seat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure was one of my top priorities because the Eighth District is home to some of our nation’s most important infrastructure projects,” Menendez said.  “On the Committee, I will advocate for the district’s needs, whether it is advancing the Gateway Program, securing funding for mass transit infrastructure, or working to address the impacts of climate change in cities and towns. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Larsen and my colleagues on the Committee to modernize and update our nation’s infrastructure.”

Menendez is the second freshman congressman from New Jersey to get a seat on the transportation panel.  Rep. Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) was assigned to the committee earlier this month.

Both of their predecessors had served on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.   Menendez replaced Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), who did not seek re-election, and Kean defeated Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes).

“As a former Port Authority Commissioner, Representative Menendez is an experienced transportation and infrastructure advocate who will make a valuable addition to our committee,”  said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington), the ranking Republican on Transportation & Infrastructure.   “His district is home to some of the most heavily utilized transportation infrastructure in the country including the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, sections of the Northeast Corridor, and the future home of significant components of the Gateway Program. Representative Menendez will also be a steadfast advocate for mass transit, which many working families in his district and around the country rely upon.”

Rep.  Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, said that Menendez’s “work experience and knowledge will be essential in our ongoing national security work to prepare for disasters and protect the homeland from the diverse threats we face.”

“I am excited to start our work together on behalf of the American people,” Thompson said.

Menendez’s assignment mirrors that of his father, Bob Menendez, who won a seat on the House Public Works and Transportation Committee – House Speaker Newt Gingrich renamed the panel in 1995– as a newly-elected congressman in 1993.  Bob Menendez also joined the House Foreign Affairs Committee and now chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

As a freshman congressman in 1939, Kean’s grandfather, Robert W. Kean, was assigned a seat on the House Banking and Currency Committee.  He later moved to the Ways and Means Committee, where he became known as Mr. Social Security.

Spread the news: