Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), head of the Democrats' policy and communications shop, said in a statement from his office that "on fundamental Democratic issues, Bob Menendez is one of the stalwarts in the Senate and is regarded as a invaluable leader in our party that helps keep us unified."
Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, said Menendez remains a solid progressive vote in the Senate despite a few disagreements with Democratic leadership and the White House.
"Most legislators, Senators certainly, would want to be able to say, 'I haven't been in lock step every time, and here is when I haven't been because I believe in the issue,'" Dworkin said.
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.