Ros-Lehtinen Reintroduces United Nations Reform Legislation
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement after reintroducing, H.R. 3667, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2015. H.R. 3667 would gradually shift the funding mechanism for the United Nations from assessed to voluntary contributions in order to make the organization more effective and accountable to its objectives. The bill would also conditionally withhold United States contributions until specific reforms are made to UN policies and entities in order to help eliminate bias against Israel, reduce security threats, and eradicate waste, fraud, and abuse. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“As the UN General Assembly continues its 70th session, we are reminded again that this broken institution is in dire need of reform. Repressive and corrupt regimes like Cuba, Iran, Russia, China, Syria, and North Korea have effectively taken the United Nations hostage, shielding each other from accountability and justice while doing serious harm to the UN’s stated objectives. The Palestinian Authority continues to exploit the UN system to pursue unilateral statehood outside of direct negotiations with Israel, an effort that not only circumvents the rule of law and the Palestinians’ international agreements and obligations but is counterproductive to the peace process itself. Some of the world’s most authoritarian states have commandeered the Human Rights Council in order to deflect attention away from their human rights violations and have done lasting damage to the cause of human rights in the process. With over 250,000 dead in Syria and Assad continuing to use barrel bombs and chemical warfare against his own people, the Human Rights Council has maintained its anti-Israel bias, passing almost twice as many resolutions against the democratic Jewish State as it has against Assad in recent years.
“My bill would help reform the UN by conditioning US contributions and shifting from an assessed to a voluntary funding mechanism. By incentivizing transparency, accountability, and reform, we can stop rewarding the bad behavior that has led to the UN’s current state of dysfunction and ensure it gets back to working on the goals it was created for: international peace, security, and human rights.”Read More
Ros-Lehtinen Votes in Favor of NDAA, Which Includes Provisions To Strengthen SOUTHCOM And Prevents President Obama From Relinquishing Control of Guantanamo Bay to Cuba
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement after the House agreed to the Conference Report to H.R. 1735 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The NDAA allocates $30 million for DoD unique capabilities in areas such as aerial and maritime capabilities, building partnership capacity, and the detection and monitoring of illicit trafficking and also provides an additional $20 million for SOUTHCOM Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 270-156.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Earlier this year, I offered an amendment to the House version of the NDAA to help allocate more resources to SOUTHCOM in order to improve our visibility and assessments of threats emanating from our Hemisphere and I am pleased that such additional assistance was included in the final bill.
“The FY16 NDAA also includes provisions that are intended to prevent the President from closing our base in Guantanamo and to ensure that the Obama administration does not offer another concession to the Castro regime by returning the base back to Cuba.
“I fully support the inclusion of these important provisions that will advance U.S. national security interests, avert the return of our base to the Castro brothers, and provide assistance to those countries that are combatting narco-trafficking and other illicit activities in the Western Hemisphere in the conference report. I look forward to this bipartisan bill becoming law.”
NOTE: Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) offered an amendment which was included in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which sought to authorize the Secretary of Defense to deploy necessary resources to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in order to counter threats in the Western Hemisphere.
Section 1036 of the NDAA states: No amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2016 may be used— (1) to close or abandon United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; (2) to relinquish control of Guantanamo Bay to the Republic of Cuba; or (3) to implement a material modification to the Treaty Between the United States of America and Cuba signed at Washington, D.C. on May 29, 1934 that constructively closes United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay.
At UN General Assembly, Abu Mazen Confirms What Was Already Known: Palestinian Authority Has No Intention to Honor International Obligations, Reach Peace With Israel, Says Ros-Lehtinen
“If the Palestinians do move to accede to additional international conventions and organizations, U.S. law is unambiguous on this point: we must suspend all funding to any of these bodies that accept a non-existent State of Palestine to its membership and Congress will see to it that the President implements the law fully”
Washington, DC - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement in response to Abu Mazen’s speech at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Abu Mazen’s speech at the UN General Assembly confirmed what has been painfully obvious for years – that he is a self-serving autocrat who is not interested in the wellbeing of the Palestinian people and who is not now, nor has he ever been, an honest partner for peace with Israel. By declaring that the Palestinians are no longer bound by their signed agreements with Israel, Abu Mazen has shifted his scheme to delegitimize Israel and achieve unilateral statehood into full gear, and the U.S. must respond in kind and hold him accountable for his destructive actions.
“The message from Abu Mazen’s speech today was clear: he intends to scuttle any prospects for peace, pursue Israel at the ICC and continue his ploy for achieving unilateral statehood at the UN by acceding to international conventions and organizations.
“The Obama administration was obligated to suspend all assistance to the Palestinian Authority when Abu Mazen joined forces with the U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, Hamas, and when the Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court and initiated an investigation against Israel, yet it did not suspend the assistance.
“President Obama must suspend immediately all assistance to the PA. Further, if the Palestinians do move to accede to additional international conventions and organizations, U.S. law is unambiguous on this point: we must suspend all funding to any of these bodies that accept a non-existent State of Palestine to its membership and Congress will see to it that the President implements the law fully.”
Ros-Lehtinen Announces Support of Scalise for Majority Leader
“Steve is a trusted friend who knows how to deliver results and is always available and responsive to all Republican Members.”
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, announced her support of Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s bid for Majority Leader.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Steve is a trusted friend who knows how to deliver results and is always available and responsive to all Republican Members. In my many conversations with him, I know that he is committed to ensuring that we regain America’s lost credibility on the international stage and reverse the nonsensical Obama foreign policy. As part of our current leadership team, he has been deeply involved in working to promote the opportunity economy so that all can achieve the American dream. Steve knows our Republican Conference well and will be a key player in ensuring we help lower taxes, create jobs, and improve our nation’s long-term growth.”
Obama Fails to Denounce Putin, Rouhani, and Castro at United Nations; Blames America First Instead, Says Ros-Lehtinen
“It is up to us in Congress to be proactive and to push for reforms at the United Nations and that is why this week I am reintroducing my UN Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act”
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement today on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the need for American leadership and reform at the United Nations. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Mr. Speaker, yesterday we witnessed thugs, tyrants and dictators, from Russia, Iran, and Cuba, speak before the General Assembly at the United Nations. And with straight faces, each claimed to be defenders of peace, of international standards, of human rights – principles that Putin, Rouhani, and Castro have made a living out of ignoring and abusing to the detriment of the people who live under their oppressive rule.
President Obama had an opportunity to set the tone, to call for reforms at the badly mismanaged United Nations, to challenge the status quo, and reestablish America’s leadership and credibility. Instead, he used it as an opportunity to pay lip service to American ideals and values, and to abdicate America’s role as a world leader. A void that is now being filled by our adversaries like Russia, Iran, China, and Syria.
The Russians continue their aggressive actions in Ukraine and are now sending military hardware to the murderous Assad regime. Iran has had a record number of hangings since the so-called moderate leader Rouhani took office and thousands of ethnic and religious minorities are imprisoned and sentenced to death. The President has done everything in his power not to upset the Iranians because he doesn’t want to ruin the chance for a nuclear deal – a deal, which will cause a nuclear and conventional arms race in the region – and his words yesterday prove to be empty rhetoric when matched to his policies and actions in the past. And not to be outdone, Raul Castro doubled down on his intransigence, further demonstrating that the Obama administration offered concessions to the regime which have resulted in even greater oppression by that hated Cuban dictatorship.
But per usual with the President: it was the blame America first narrative that he was trying to peddle with his misguided policies toward Cuba. President Obama used this opportunity to undermine the United States Congress and perhaps foreshadowing an eventual abstention on the UN vote on the Cuban embargo, he stated “I’m confident that our Congress will inevitably lift an embargo that should not be in place anymore.” President Obama failed once again to put the onus on the Castro regime to release all political prisoners, to hold free and fair elections, to respect human rights in order for us to lift the embargo. The Cuban embargo language in the law is clear on all the conditions, Mr. Speaker. Conditions that have to be met in order for it to be lifted; conditions that the Castro regime has no interest in abiding by.
President Obama should stop ignoring current law and stop loosening regulations on a regime that has done nothing to deserve this praise. The Castro regime is the one responsible for the human rights violations occurring in Cuba and the constant beatings against pro-democracy leaders. The US embargo cannot be held responsible for that. Does Castro say: “oh, I have to beat the heads of a very peaceful group, Ladies in White, walking to church because the embargo says I must beat their heads in”? Does Castro say: “Oh I cannot have any political party operating in Cuba other than the communist party, because the embargo obligates me to only have this political party operating.” Does he say: “I cannot respect human rights in Cuba, because of that nasty US embargo forces me to violate human rights.” Of course not. That is lunacy, that is a responsibility that only Castro can claim. The Castro regime instead has done nothing to unclench its iron fists – nada.
Mr. Speaker, President Obama’s remarks yesterday at the UN made him part of the problem with what’s wrong with that broken institution and once again highlighted that his misplaced priorities and misguided foreign policies have not kept our country any safer.
That is why it is up to us in Congress to be proactive and to push for reforms at the United Nations and that is why this week I am reintroducing my UN Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act. My bill will fundamentally change the way we fund that institution by shifting the funding mechanism from assessed to voluntary contributions in order to make the organization more effective and accountable to its objectives. For example, the Human Rights Council does not deserve our assistance when countries like Cuba, China, Venezuela – some of the world’s worst human rights violators –push a decidedly anti-American, anti-Israel agenda at the Council. We should not fund these bodies at the UN. We should only fund the ones that we believe are working, the ones that are transparent, the ones that are accountable to the Member states that donate their budgets.
Mr. Speaker, the Obama administration has had 7 years to implement reforms and it has failed. It’s time for Congress to take the lead, and I urge my colleagues to sign up to my bill this week.”Read More
Reunión de Obama con Raul Castro Contraproducente a la Causa de Democracia en Cuba, Nuestra Seguridad Nacional
“Reuniéndose con y complaciendo a tiranos ha sido una obsesión para la administración de Obama pero ninguna cantidad de reuniones cambia la realidad en Cuba: Raul Castro no ha abierto su mano cerrada y su régimen sigue siendo tan represivo hoy como cuando el Presidente Obama empezó este proceso equivocado de normalización.”
Washington, DC – La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Presidente del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, hizo la siguiente declaración sobre reportes que el Presidente Obama se reunirá con el dictador cubano Raul Castro en la Naciones Unidas el martes, 29 de septiembre. Destacó Ros-Lehtinen:
“Reuniéndose con y complaciendo a tiranos ha sido una obsesión para la administración de Obama pero ninguna cantidad de reuniones cambia la realidad en Cuba: Raul Castro no ha abierto su mano cerrada y su régimen sigue siendo tan represivo hoy como cuando el Presidente Obama empezó este proceso equivocado de normalización. Seguir legitimando a Castro y su régimen comunista solo sirve para impedir la causa de libertad para el pueblo cubano.
La concesión más reciente de Obama a Castro es posiblemente abstener del voto sobre el embargo. Yo hable recientemente con la embajadora estadounidense a las Naciones Unidas, Samantha Power, y le urgí que votara en contra de la resolución. Mientras que lideres pro-democráticos en todas partes de Cuba siguen siendo arrestados y El Sexto, un artista encarcelado en los gulags de la dictadura, esta actualmente en una huelga de hambre, el Presidente Obama considera apropiado darle la mano a uno de los peores tiranos del mundo. Es verdaderamente bochornoso que en vez de unirse a la causa del pueblo cubano, la Casa Blanca ha decidido complacer a la dictadura una vez mas.”Read More
Obama’s Meeting with Raul Castro Counterproductive to the Cause of Democracy in Cuba, U.S. National Security
“Meeting with and appeasing tyrants has become an obsession for the Obama administration but no amount of meetings will change the reality in Cuba: Raul Castro has not unclenched his fist and his regime continues to be as repressive today than it was when President Obama began this misguided normalization process.
Washington, DC - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding reports President Obama will meet with Cuban dictator Raul Castro at the United Nations on Tuesday, September 29. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Meeting with and appeasing tyrants has become an obsession for the Obama administration but no amount of meetings will change the reality in Cuba: Raul Castro has not unclenched his fist and his regime continues to be as repressive today than it was when President Obama began this misguided normalization process. Further legitimizing Castro and his communist regime only serves to undermine the cause of freedom for the Cuban people.
Obama's latest concession to Castro is possibly abstaining from the embargo vote. I recently spoke with US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and urged her to vote against the resolution. While pro-democracy leaders in all parts of Cuba continue to be arrested and El Sexto, an artist languishing in the dictatorship’s gulags, is conducting a hunger strike, President Obama sees fit to shake the bloodied hand of one of the world's most ruthless dictators. It is truly shameful that instead of championing the cause of everyday Cubans, the White House has chosen to sell out to the dictatorship yet again.”
Ros-Lehtinen Elogia el Liderazgo del Presidente de la Cámara Boehner
“John ha sido un líder increíble para nuestra Conferencia Republicana y un tremendo Presidente de la Cámara para nuestro Congreso desde 2011. Desde su llegada a Washington, John ha trabajado de manera bipartidista para ayudar a crear trabajos y restaurar el liderazgo de Estados Unidos.”
(Washington, DC) – La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Presidente del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, hizo la siguiente declaración sobre la declaración del Presidente de la Cámara John Boehner de que renunciará a su cargo en el Congreso al final de octubre. Destacó Ros-Lehtinen:
“John ha sido un líder increíble para nuestra Conferencia Republicana y un tremendo Presidente de la Cámara para nuestro Congreso desde 2011. Desde su llegada a Washington, John ha trabajado de manera bipartidista para ayudar a crear trabajos y restaurar el liderazgo de nuestro país. John ha expandido nuestro partido y ha representado su estado de Ohio por más de 20 años con honor e integridad. Él ha ayudado a mantener una línea dura sobre el despotismo de los Castro en Cuba, ha apoyado mejores relaciones con Israel, y continúa siendo un oponente firme del débil y peligroso acuerdo nuclear con Irán.
Yo he tenido el privilegio de viajar con John a Irak, Afganistán, Israel y muchos otros países donde él ha representado nuestra nación de manera excelente. El decoro, gentileza, y paciencia de John son sus cualidades y serán extrañadas en el Capitolio. Sólo en los Estados Unidos puede el hijo de un dueño de un pequeño negocio producir contribuciones positivas y de largo plazo para nuestra historia. Dexter y yo le deseamos lo mejor a John, Debbie, la familia Boehner, y su más reciente adición, su nieta Alistair.”Read More
Ros-Lehtinen Praises Speaker Boehner’s Leadership in the House
“John has been an incredible leader for our Republican Conference and a tremendous Speaker for our Congress since 2011. Ever since coming to Washington, John has worked in a bipartisan manner to help create jobs and restore American leadership.”
(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding House Speaker John Boehner’s statement that he will resign from Congress at the end of October. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“John has been an incredible leader for our Republican Conference and a tremendous Speaker for our Congress since 2011. Ever since coming to Washington, John has worked in a bipartisan manner to help create jobs and restore American leadership. John expanded our big-tent party and has represented his home state of Ohio well for over 20 years with pride and integrity. He has helped maintain a hard line on the Castros’ despotic rule in Cuba, has been supportive of strong relations with Israel, and continues to be a tough opponent of the weak and dangerous Iran nuclear deal.
I have had the privilege of traveling with John to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and many other places where he has represented our nation excellently. John’s decorum, grace, and patience are his hallmarks and they will be missed in the Capitol. Only in American can the son of a barkeep rise to make a lasting, positive contribution to our history. Dexter and I wish John, Debbie, the Boehner family, and his new granddaughter Alistair all the best.”Read More
Administración Obama Beneficia Agenda Política Comunista de Cuba Con Nuevos Cambios Regulatorios, Dice Ros-Lehtinen
“Nuestras regulaciones no deben cambiar, es Cuba quien necesita cambiar y los Hermanos Castro no dejarán que eso suceda.”
(Washington, DC) – La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Presidente del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, hizo la siguiente declaración sobre los nuevos cambios regulatorios hacia Cuba anunciados por la Administración Obama. Destacó Ros-Lehtinen:
“La Administración Obama continúa ingenuamente creyendo en la expectativa inexistente de una nueva Cuba. El erróneamente clasificado sector privado en Cuba es parte del aparato represivo bajo control militar manteniendo su cerrada economía como única forma del régimen para sobrevivir. Estas nuevas regulaciones son otro intento desesperado de ignorar el puño de hierro que el régimen de los Castro mantiene sobre la economía de la isla y sólo enriquece los cofres del régimen. Al repetir la falsedad de que en Cuba existe un sector privado, la administración utiliza regulaciones de Estados Unidos para beneficiar la agenda política del régimen en nuestra nación.
“Viajar a Cuba para cualquier transacción financiera es un riesgo comercial porque el régimen de Castro ha demostrado repetidamente que no está dispuesto a saldar sus deudas y continúa ignorando los reclamos de aquellos estadounidenses con propiedades confiscadas. La triste realidad es que el régimen de Castro está tomando todas las ventajas de la voluntad de la Administración Obama al conceder relajar las regulaciones sin esperar nada a cambio de la dictadura comunista. Nuestras regulaciones no deben cambiar, es Cuba quien necesita cambiar y los Hermanos Castro no dejarán que eso suceda.”
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.
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Glenn: thanks so much for providing such clarity on brutal assassins. https://t.co/TkIw3OG77m
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