Robert Menendez

Thad Cochran, Still Ailing, Will Miss Senate Votes This Week
Urinary tract infection sidelines Mississippi Republican for extended time

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has been absent from the Capitol since September and will continue to be away while he recuperates. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Thad Cochran will not immediately return to Washington following a four-week absence, raising speculation about the 79-year-old Mississippi Republican’s ability to continue as Appropriations chairman during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

His absence could also have implications for the budget resolution vote this week, though debate was still on track as of Monday, even after Cochran’s office confirmed he would not be present.

Judge Rules That Robert Menendez Will Face All Charges
New Jersey Democrat was seeking dismissal of corruption counts

Sen. Robert Menendez is seen during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting Oct. 5, his first day back to the Hill since his corruption trial started. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Updated: 12:49 p.m. | A jury will hear corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez after all, leaving intact federal prosecutors’ case against the New Jersey Democrat. 

U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls said the evidence the Justice Department presented in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, appeared to meet the legal test for proving bribery under federal law, NBC News reported.

Robert Menendez Returns to Capitol
New Jersey Democrat has been absent due to public corruption trial

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., left, greets Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Menendez's first day back to the Hill since his corruption trial started. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There was a rather unexpected face walking the halls of the Senate Thursday: Sen. Robert Menendez.

The New Jersey Democrat returned to business at the Capitol Thursday for the first time since the start of his trial on public corruption charges began in Newark, N.J., on Sept. 6.

Rubio Says Puerto Rico Recovery Needs Go Far Beyond Money
Logistical challenges could make situation on the ground even worse

Sen. Marco Rubio spoke to reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday about hurricane disaster relief for Puerto Rico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Marco Rubio has a message for the Trump administration and his Republican colleagues: Puerto Rico has massive logistical challenges in recovering from Hurricane Maria that are at risk of getting worse, not better.

“If tomorrow we authorize $10 billion of aid to Puerto Rico, we would struggle to deliver it,” the Florida Republican told reporters after a meeting at the White House Tuesday.

Half of New Jersey Voters Don’t Think Menendez Should Be Re-Elected’
Only 20 percent said he deserves to be re-elected in Quinnipiac Poll

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves the Senate Democrats' weekly policy lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is in the legal fight of his life. And if he runs for re-election in 2018, he may be in for his toughest political fight, too. 

Half of New Jersey voters said the state’s senior Democratic senator does not deserve to be re-elected next year, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday.

Menendez Trial Opens: Prosecutors Say He ‘Sold His Office’
Menendez attorney says government has no evidence he took bribes

Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is currently facing a corruption trial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Prosecutors opened the corruption trial of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez saying he “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” to achieve favors for campaign donor Salomon Melgen. 

Menendez is accused of using his influence as a senator to assist the Florida opthamologist in securing visas for one of Melgen's girlfriends and her sister from the Dominican Republic. 

Judge: Menendez No Different Than a Cab Driver
Says he won't alter trial schedule for key Senate votes

Sen. Robert Menendez has lost a bid to alter his trial schedule. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the eyes of the law, being a U.S. senator should be no different than being a taxi cab driver in the city of Newark, New Jersey.

That’s the underlying justification for the decision by a federal judge to deny a request by Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez to allow for an altered trial schedule in Newark when he needs to be in Washington for what are described as “critical” Senate votes.

Government Outlines Corruption Case Against Menendez
Some arguments will be about the Senate's ethics rules

The government is previewing its case against Sen. Robert Menendez (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Federal law enforcement is outlining its case against Sen. Robert Menendez, alleging they have the evidence to show a pattern of corruption that includes a $20,000 flight to the local airport here.

When the private plane of a South Florida eye doctor who has been a friend and supporter of Menendez was unavailable to transport the New Jersey Democrat and others from the Dominican Republic, Dr. Salomon Melgen procured a friend’s plane.

Floods May Focus Lawmakers on Insurance Program Deep in the Red
Program’s current funds probably not enough to cover claims

Residents are evacuated from their homes after severe flooding following Hurricane Harvey in north Houston August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Parts of southeast Texas have received more than 40 inches of rain since Harvey made landfall on Friday, with more torrential rain expected the next several days. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Hurricane Harvey, on track to cause some of  the worst flooding in U.S. history, stands to complicate efforts by Congress to reauthorize next month a federal flood insurance program that’s already about $24.6 billion in debt.

The Gulf Coast floods from Harvey, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls “one of the worst disasters in Texas history,” threatens to deepen the debt of the National Flood Insurance Program before the Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline. The program administered by FEMA provides flood coverage to more than 4.9 million policyholders, including 593,115 in Texas.

In the Courthouse: Cases Affecting Congress Work Way Through System

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., faces a corruption trial in Newark, which could affect some Senate votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several high-profile cases affecting Congress are making their way through the federal court system, including how congressional districts are drawn in Texas and Maryland, as well as a criminal trial affecting a sitting U.S. senator. 

On Friday, Texas asked the Supreme Court to stop a court-ordered redrawing of the state’s congressional districts ahead of the 2018 election, or risk “chaos” in the state’s election timeline for a second time this decade.