(JTA) — Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is replacing Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Menendez, who was indicted this week on corruption charges, has stepped down temporarily from his leadership post while he fights the charges, though he will keep his seat on the committee. Menendez has adamantly denied the accusations against him.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Cardin’s appointment on Thursday.
A longtime Jewish lawmaker and leading pro-Israel voice in Congress, Cardin was named last month the special representative on anti-Semitism and intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. He was also one of four senators to urge President Obama earlier this week not to impose peace terms on Israel.