Ros-Lehtinen Introduces Bill to Curb Anti-Israel Agenda at United Nations
“As the major contributor at the UN, America wields considerable leverage and it is time that we use that leverage to bring about reforms”
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement after introducing H.R. 2232 – the Promoting Equality and Accountability at the United Nations Act of 2017. Ros-Lehtinen was joined by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Kay Granger (R-TX), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Peter J. Roskam (R-IL), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Randy K. Weber (R-TX), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“The anti-Israel agenda at some United Nations agencies is toxic and has been allowed to continue for too long. At bodies like UNESCO or the UN Human Rights Council, there isn’t even a pretense of neutrality when it comes to the Jewish State. Continued U.S. engagement at these agencies cannot come unconditionally, otherwise we only serve to legitimize this anti-Israel bias. The U.S. taxpayers expect us to be responsible with their money and continuing to fund agencies that work against us, our allies and our interests is not a responsible use of their hard earned dollars. As the major contributor at the UN, America wields considerable leverage and it is time that we use that leverage to bring about reforms.”
Ros-Lehtinen Comments on New Executive Order Expanding Oil and Gas Drilling
(Washington, DC) - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) made the following statement in response to the newly-issued executive order permitting expanded oil and gas drilling. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Expanded offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico poses a great risk to South Florida. The potential damage to our world-renowned coral reefs, robust fisheries, pristine beaches, and tourism-supported small businesses should far outweigh any short-term benefit anticipated in the Administration’s plan. Tourism is the driving force behind our state’s economy and offshore drilling threatens the very resources that these visitors come to Florida to enjoy. I'm committed to working to help find solutions in order to preserve our community's jobs and natural beauty so that future generations are not negatively impacted by our actions today."Read More
Ros-Lehtinen and Cohen Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Commission Bust of Elie Wiesel in U.S. Capitol
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — In the wake of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) today introduced bipartisan legislation to commission a bust of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel to be installed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC.
“Having just marked the first Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, since Elie Wiesel passed, we are reminded of the importance of his mission: sharing the memory of the Holocaust so that we can all bear witness,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “A statue or bust in the Capitol would memorialize him and ensure that we continue to share his story and remind ourselves that, as he said 'our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.' I am pleased to join Steve and so many of our colleagues in introducing this bill to pay tribute to a great man and his legacy.”
“Elie Wiesel was one of the greatest moral forces in the world,” said Congressman Cohen. “He is a member of that rare group of people who have had a major individual impact on our world, such as Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. I met Elie Wiesel when I was a Tennessee State Senator when he was being honored at Vanderbilt. It was particularly special for me to meet Elie Wiesel as he was the inspiration for my passing legislation to create the Tennessee Holocaust Commission in 1984. The addition of a bust of Elie Wiesel to the U.S. Capitol, visited by Americans and people from around the world, would be most appropriate as Elie Wiesel spent his life urging all people to never forget the Holocaust. A bust of Elie Wiesel will honor a great man and will further serve to remind us all to never forget. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I urge my colleagues to commission this statue to honor a brilliant, pure, honest, and courageous man.”
Elie Wiesel was born in Romania in 1928. In 1944, at the age of fifteen, Wiesel was deported by the Nazis to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and later to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He was released from Buchenwald in April 1945 after the United States Army liberated the camp. Following World War II, Wiesel became a journalist and author and wrote about his experiences during the Holocaust. In 1958, Wiesel published his memoir, Night, which has been translated into over 30 languages. In 1963, Wiesel became an American citizen. Throughout his life, he fought vocally against indifference, intolerance, and injustice. Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in 1986. Elie Wiesel passed away July 2, 2016 at the age of 87.
Cosponsors of the bill include (alphabetically): Julia Brownley (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Paul Cook (R-CA), Ryan A. Costello (R-PA), Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Dan Donovan, (R-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), John Faso (R-NY), Bill Foster (D-IL), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Kay Granger (R-TX), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), French Hill (R-AR), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), John Katko (R-NY), Peter King (R-NY), David Kustoff (R-TN), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), John Lewis (D-GA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), James McGovern (D-MA), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Randy K. Weber, Sr. (R-TX), John Yarmuth (D-KY), Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Her Intention To Vote NO on Revised AHCA
“After studying the revised bill, I intend to vote NO. This plan still does not effectively address the needs of my South Florida constituents.”
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) made the following statement on her intention to vote NO on the revised AHCA. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“After studying the revised bill, I intend to vote NO. This plan still does not effectively address the needs of my South Florida constituents. The proposed changes to this bill would leave too many of my constituents with pre-existing conditions paying more for health insurance coverage and too many of them will even be left without any coverage at all. Additionally, this new plan still includes painful cuts to Medicaid that will make it more difficult to care for patients with high costs of coverage due to special needs or chronic diseases. Unfortunately, the bill does not deliver what my district needs and until a plan that helps South Florida is proposed, I will continue to side with my constituents in opposing this plan.”Read More
Ros-Lehtinen and Deutch Introduce Resolution Condemning Iran’s Human Rights Violations, Persecution of Baha’is
(Washington, DC) - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, introduced H.Res. 274, condemning Iran’s human rights violations, particularly its persecution of its Baha’i minority, and urging the administration to impose sanctions against the Iranian regime for its human rights abuses. Joining Ros-Lehtinen and Deutch in introducing the resolution were U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), and Brad Schneider (D-IL). A companion resolution was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), John Boozman (R-AK), and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Iran’s despicable human rights record is only getting worse as its compromised elections approach next month. Despite the propaganda portraying Rouhani as a ‘reformer,’ executions and crackdowns on political opponents and minorities in Iran have increased in recent years. The regime’s repression of its 300,000-plus Baha’i minority is particularly abhorrent as Baha’i men and women face daily harassment, arbitrary arrest, and denial of education and employment. Baha’is are not allowed to assemble or worship freely, Baha’i cemeteries are regularly vandalized, and 90 Baha’is remain in prison for their beliefs. The regime’s human rights practices are indicative of its untrustworthiness and should be an integral component of U.S. security policy toward Iran. I urge the administration to use all available authorities to the fullest extent possible in order to sanction the Iranian regime for its human rights abuses.”
Statement by Deutch:
“The Iranian regime perpetrates some of the most egregious human rights abuses against its own people, including denying them freedom of religion, persecuting minorities like the Baha’i, and imprisoning LGBT people. The United States must continue to stand squarely against these violations of basic human rights, including by strictly applying and enforcing existing sanctions and strengthening punishments for offenders. This resolution sends a strong statement to the abusive regime that its treatment of the Baha’i, its unjust repression and persecution of Iranians, and its imprisonment of U.S. and other foreign nationals will be met with a strong response.”
Ros-Lehtinen Welcomes News That Allianz Has Ended Sponsorship of PGA Tour Event in Boca Raton
“Today will mark the beginning of a renewed effort for all of the next steps the survivors need - we can no longer sit idly by and allow these survivors to continue to be victimized and denied their day in court”
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding the end of Allianz’s sponsorship of the PGA Tour event in Boca Raton. For years, Ros-Lehtinen has called on the PGA Tour to end its partnership with Allianz until the insurance conglomerate accepts its responsibility for its actions during the Holocaust and its continued denial of justice to Holocaust survivors. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“The end of Allianz’s sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s Boca Raton tournament is welcome, but long overdue news. For the past seven years, I have echoed the concerns of Holocaust survivors who have rightly protested against this sponsorship. Allianz has a despicable record of its treatment of Holocaust survivors, having sold tens of thousands of insurance policies to Jewish families before WWII only to reject those claims using cruel tactics and demanding death certificates and policy documents they knew could not be provided. That is why, earlier this year, I reintroduced the bipartisan Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act to ensure survivors and their families the ability to bring their cases before the U.S. court system and seek redress from these companies.
“It’s fitting that the survivors are marking Allianz’s departure on Yom HaShoah, when we honor the six million Jews who were murdered and we recommit to never forget them or the unparalleled crimes of the German Nazi regime. But we must also recommit ourselves to ensuring that survivors get the justice that has for over seven decades evaded them. Today will mark the beginning of a renewed effort for all of the next steps the survivors need - we can no longer sit idly by and allow these survivors to continue to be victimized and denied their day in court.”
2206 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
I am proud to represent Florida’s 27th Congressional District, a diverse area which includes Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Little Havana, Miami, Pinecrest, South Miami, and Westchester.
I was born in Havana, Cuba on July 1952. At the age of eight, my family and I were forced to flee from the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro. We settled in Miami and put down permanent roots in our community. I attended Southside Elementary School in Little Havana, West Miami Junior High, and Southwest High School. In the years following, I earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College in 1972, Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Florida International University in 1975 and 1985 respectively, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Miami in 2004. I consider education a lifelong journey.
I began my career as a Florida certified teacher. I also founded and served as the principal and teacher of a private bilingual elementary school in Hialeah. I was inspired to enter public service by many of the parents and students; to fight on their behalf for a stronger educational system, lower taxes, and a brighter economic future.
In 1982 I was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives and the Florida Senate in 1986, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in either body. In the state legislature I authored the Florida Prepaid College Plan, which is now the largest pre paid college tuition program in the nation. More than one million Florida families have used this program to send their children to college.
I was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989– the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress–following a special election to fill the seat held by the late Claude Pepper. I have been strongly returned to Congress since, winning 60% of the vote in 2012.
To this day, I remain committed to improving the lives of my constituents and our beautiful South Florida community. As the economy remains a pressing issue, I support reducing taxes and cutting back unnecessary government spending. I also support plans to balance the federal budget and increase tax incentives for small businesses and middle class families. South Florida has also felt the devastating effects of the housing crisis. I have fought to end predatory lending practices by mortgage companies and extend the first time homebuyers tax credit.
Given my background in education, I have worked to strengthen the Head Start program. I have also supported legislation to increase the availability to student financial aid and revise the cumbersome and complicated Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) process.
I am a strong advocate of programs that address the serious problem of domestic violence against women. I was a lead sponsor of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which increases resources towards the prosecution of domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault. I also support legislation to increase criminal penalties for perpetrators of Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud is a deplorable practice which robs hardworking seniors of the benefits they spent a lifetime earning, while also wasting billions in taxpayer dollars.
As the wife of a Vietnam veteran and step-mother to Marine aviators, I am passionate about improving our nation’s military, safeguarding veteran’s health care, and ensuring that returning veterans have access to a college education. I have been an outspoken critic of the Miami VA’s recent failures to notify veterans who were at risk of infection, due to contaminated colonoscopy equipment. I also authored legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). These women pioneers had been denied recognition for their service during World War II.
I am Chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and am now Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. In this role, I continue to voice my strong support for the state of Israel and human rights, including my opposition to Castro’s dictatorial regime in Cuba. I have also led on pressing foreign policy issues including the fight against Islamist extremism, and support of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
I also serve as a member of the House Committee on Rules. This Committee decides what legislation makes it to the House floor and its members are chosen by the Speaker of the House. My priorities as a member of this Committee is to get our nation’s economy back on track and ensure passage of legislation that betters the state of our nation.
I am the proud wife to Dexter Lehtinen, mother and step-mother to 4 adult children, and grandmother to two beautiful baby girls – Morgan Elizabeth and Caroline Grace.