Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen


Ros-Lehtinen Supports The 21st Century Cures Act With Crucial Reforms to Help South Floridians


Ros-Lehtinen Supports The 21st Century Cures Act With Crucial Reforms to Help South Floridians

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) made the following statement after voting for the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill which will provide $4.8 billion to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to modernize. The bill also authorizes $1 billion for grants to states to combat opioid abuse and strengthens our nation’s mental health infrastructure by creating an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, improving children’s access to mental health, and implementing other bipartisan reforms.

In South Florida, the 21st Century Cures Act will directly benefit cancer care in our community by shielding cancer hospitals, including Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, from expected Medicare reimbursement cuts.

Language borrowed from the Anna Westin Act, introduced by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Deutch (FL-21), which aims to help men and women with eating disorders, was also included in the 21st Century Cures Act. This is the first time the House has passed a bill which directly addresses eating disorders and its resultant harms.

The 21st Century Cures Act also creates federal drug courts modeled in part on Florida’s first-in-the-nation state drug courts, for which Ros-Lehtinen has advocated.

Finally, a bipartisan provision supported by Ros-Lehtinen to allow the Food and Drug Administration to give emergency use authorization for innovative vector control technologies was included in the bill, and may quickly expand the range of tools available to the State of Florida and local South Florida governments in the fight against the Zika Virus and its invasive mosquito host.


Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: 

“I’m proud to support this bill which will help boost biotechnology research and medical care, provide crucial reforms to mental health programs, and develop new tools to fight alcohol and drug addiction, all for the long-term benefit of the American people. The spirit of the Anna Westin Act, which I introduced with my friend, Ted, is also present in this bill, providing an avenue for millions of young Americans impacted by eating disorders to seek the help they need. Additionally, I’m thrilled that cancer hospitals in our area will see a benefit that will allow them to continue to meet our community’s growing cancer care needs. Our nation faces serious issues as we continue to confront new 21st century challenges, and this bipartisan bill serves as a good base from which to get started for next year’s new Congress and Administration.”



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Ros-Lehtinen Supports Granting Congressional Gold Medal To Our Nation’s Intelligence Professionals During World War II


Ros-Lehtinen Supports Granting Congressional Gold Medal To Our Nation’s Intelligence Professionals During World War II

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) made the following statement after passage of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Congressional Gold Medal Act. Ros-Lehtinen, a co-sponsor of the House version of the bill and a member of the Intelligence Committee, proudly honors the brave men and women who, through their diligent work, helped our nation win a crucial war which threatened not only our national security but also our democratic principles and way of life.  

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:  

“Intelligence professionals were crucial to our nation’s victory in World War II. The men and women of the OSS worked, at great sacrifice, to ensure our country was victorious in a conflict which cost so many American lives. These unrecognized heroes created human intelligence networks and tracked enemy movements in order to help our nation and allies win a long and terrible conflict which cost many American lives. I am proud to commemorate and celebrate their efforts which formed the basis for our modern intelligence community.”



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The Status Quo in Libya Is Unsustainable; The Next Administration Must Articulate Clear Objectives to Help Stabilize Libya and Protect Our National Security Interests, Says Ros-Lehtinen


The Status Quo in Libya Is Unsustainable; The Next Administration Must Articulate Clear Objectives to Help Stabilize Libya and Protect Our National Security Interests, Says Ros-Lehtinen

“Libya is more politically divided than ever, its economy is in freefall, terrorist groups and criminals continue to exploit the power vacuum”

(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 today at a joint subcommittee hearing entitled, “Libya Five Years After Ghadafi.” Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“December 17th marks the one year anniversary of the Libyan Political Agreement, making this an opportune time to review the administration’s policy on Libya. When this administration first participated in the intervention in Libya in 2011, many of us expressed concern with the administration’s lack of clearly articulated objectives, a post-intervention plan, or even an explanation about how it fit U.S. national security interests. Many of our worst fears have come to fruition, as more than five years after Ghadafi’s death, Libya is embroiled in a difficult civil war that shows no sign of abatement. If anything, it has only gotten worse since the UN-brokered agreement.

Libya is more politically divided than ever, its economy is in a freefall, terrorist groups and criminals continue to exploit the power vacuum. Multiple governing entities and their allied militias and armed forces compete for power, while the UN-backed unity government, known as the Government of National Accord, remains unable to provide basic security and basic services to the people of Libya. Criminals and terrorist groups, including ISIS, al-Qaeda and so many others, take advantage of the chaos, securing their own territory and using Libya as a launching pad for smuggling, for human trafficking, for terror attacks – endangering Libya’s neighbors such as Egypt and Tunisia. Libya is now the main transit point for migrants trying to reach Europe, and with little border security or governance, many are rightly concerned by the potential of terrorists reaching our own shores. While reports say that forces are close to retaking Sirte from ISIS, we should not allow this news to disguise the sad reality: ISIS’s presence in Libya is far from being eliminated. ISIS, al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia – the group responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attack – as well as others, all continue to maintain cells throughout the country.

In a positive development, I was relieved to see the announcement last month that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was able to remove Libya’s remaining chemical weapons equipment. Another welcome development, if accurate – if accurate – is the reported killing by French airstrikes of the Algerian jihadist known as the “one-eyed terrorist.”  He is said to be responsible for organizing terrorist attacks in Libya, Algeria, and Mali – so many other places – and had funneled millions of dollars to al-Qaeda.

France’s airstrikes highlight the stakes that many outside actors have in Libya. Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others continue to support Khalifa Haftar, the former Libyan National Army general who recently claimed victory in Benghazi and who was just in Moscow discussing Russian military assistance. Reports indicate that at least four countries have Special Forces on the ground in Libya right now, including our own, and, in some cases, are assisting forces on both sides of Libya’s civil war. It also worth noting that in recent months Haftar has seized many of the ports in Libya’s oil crescent which is Libya’s main source of revenue. With additional violence on the horizon, potentially between eastern and western forces, Haftar’s role must be addressed in Libya’s political dialogue – a dialogue that should come sooner rather than later.

Since the unity government took up residence in Tripoli in March, it has struggled to provide the kind of basic services and security that could engender the support that it needs in order to consolidate power. And as long as it keeps struggling in the west while its rival governing entities and security forces keep operating and making gains in the east, any chance that the current peace process had at succeeding will continue to be undermined. As we approach the one year anniversary of the Libyan Political Agreement, it is clear that the status quo in Libya is unsustainable and that there must be a new and revitalized attempt at reconciling all Libyan stakeholders. I look forward to hearing from our witness on exactly how the administration is working to help get that peace process back on track, the status of our counterterrorism operations against ISIS and others, and what kind of changes to our Libya policy and assistance we should expect moving forward.”

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Ros-Lehtinen Comenta Sobre La Muerte De Fidel Castro


Ros-Lehtinen Comenta Sobre La Muerte De Fidel Castro

Miami, Florida  - La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, ex Presidenta del Comité de Asuntos Exteriores y la Presidenta del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte , hizo las siguientes declaraciones sobre la muerte del dictador Fidel Castro:

“El día que el pueblo, dentro y afuera de la isla, esperaba ha llegado: el tirano ha muerto y puede comenzar un nuevo amanecer sobre el ultimo bastión del comunismo en el hemisferio Occidental. El mensaje ahora es bien claro  para aquellos que piensan que continuaran mal gobernando basado en opresión y el miedo. Basta ya de lo mismo. Al pueblo cubano se le ha negado por ya mucho tiempo la libertad y democracia que se merecen.

Aquellos que todavía dirigen a Cuba con un puño de hierro podrán intentar demorar la liberación de la isla pero no pueden detenerla. Los sucesores de Castro no pueden esconderse detras de cambios cosméticos que solo prolongaran los males de la nación cubana. Ningún régimen, no importa quien lo dirija, tendrá legitimidad si no es elegido por el pueblo cubano en elecciones abiertas e internacionalmente observadas.

Los apologistas de Fidel en todas partes del mundo pueden ahora ayudar a restaurar la libertad y el respeto a los derechos humanos en Cuba uniendo sus voces al llamado para que el nuevo régimen libere a los cientos de defensores de la libertad y presos políticos que los hermanos Castro mantienen en prision.

Solo cuando cierren los gulags, tengan elecciones libres, liberen a los presos políticos y la democracia sea restituida podrá los Estados Unidos levantar su embargo en contra del régimen comunista de La Habana. El momento para actuar es ahora.

Todos los amantes de una Cuba libre y soberana tenemos que apropiarnos de este momento para ayudar escribir un nuevo capitulo en la historia de una Cuba que será libre, democrática y prospera. Una Cuba donde la fe en Dios ha prevalecido sobre la tiranía; una Cuba que vio a su pueblo enfrentarse a los retos y vencerlos por su patriotismo y amor a la patria.”



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Ros-Lehtinen Comments on Death of Fidel Castro


Ros-Lehtinen Comments on Death of Fidel Castro

Miami, Florida – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, commented today on the death of the dictator Fidel Castro:

“The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western hemisphere.  The message is now very clear to those who think they will continue to misrule Cuba through oppression and fear. Enough is enough. The Cuban people have been shortchanged for too long to continue down this reviled path.

Those who still rule Cuba with an iron grip may attempt to delay the island’s liberation, but they cannot stop it.  Castro’s successors cannot hide and must not be allowed to hide beneath cosmetic changes that will only lengthen the malaise of the Cuban nation. No regime, no matter who leads it, will have a shred of legitimacy if it has not been chosen by the people of Cuba in free and fair elections.

Fidel’s apologists around the world can help to restore freedom and human rights for Cuba by joining the call for the new regime to free the hundreds of freedom fighters and pro-democracy activists still locked in Castro’s prisons.

Not until the gulags are closed, elections are held, political prisoners are freed and liberty is restored can the United States lawfully end its embargo against the communist regime in Havana. The time to act is now. 

We must seize the moment and help write a new chapter in the history of Cuba; that of a Cuba that is free, democratic, and prosperous. A Cuba where faith in God has prevailed over tyranny, a Cuba whose people rose up to meet the challenges placed before them and overcame them through sheer patriotism and love of country.”

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SFla Delegation Support Letter for Eduardo Padron Medal of Freedom


NIH Letter FY17 Final Signed


11.10.16 Letter to NCI re Metastatic Cancer


Ros-Lehtinen Responde a las Elecciones Fraudulentas en Nicaragua Orquestadas por Ortega


Ros-Lehtinen Responde a las Elecciones Fraudulentas en Nicaragua Orquestadas por Ortega

“Las elecciones en Nicaragua no fueron libres, justas, o transparentes y no fueron supervisadas por observadores internacionales creíbles.”

(Washington, DC) - Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Presidente del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, hizo la siguiente declaración en respuesta a las elecciones fraudulentas en Nicaragua. Declaración de Ros-Lehtinen:

“Mucho antes que se emitiera un voto en las elecciones de Nicaragua, los resultados fraudulentos ya estaban determinados, ya que Ortega, su esposa y su régimen corrupto usaron cualquier truco sucio disponible para preservar su dinastía a expensa del pueblo nicaragüense. Antes que abrieran los centros, el régimen de Ortega manipuló el sistema y usó su poder y control sobre el Consejo Electoral, el Poder Judicial, y cualquier otra institución para garantizar permanecer en poder a toda costa. 

“Las elecciones en Nicaragua no fueron libres, justas, o transparentes y no fueron supervisadas por observadores internacionales creíbles. La democracia en el país ha sido asfixiada, lo cual ha sido demostrado por el despojo de los líderes de oposición de sus partidos políticos y la despedida de los miembros de la oposición en la Asamblea Nacional.  

“Los nicaragüenses han protestado pacíficamente para que sus voces sean escuchadas porque desean elecciones libres y transparentes, no una farsa que pretende ser democrática. Los Estados Unidos y las naciones responsables en nuestro hemisferio no pueden dar legitimidad a esta elección. El NICA Act, que yo compuse con Albio Sires, está dirigido a responsabilizar a Ortega por sus acciones abusivas y ayuda a comenzar el proceso de restauración de la democracia y el respeto a los derechos humanos en Nicaragua.”

NOTA: El Nica Act, compuesto por Ros-Lehtinen, fue aprobado por la Cámara de Representantes el 21 de Septiembre 2016 y requiere que los EEUU se oponga a cualquier préstamo de parte de instituciones financieras internacionales que beneficien al régimen de Ortega hasta que se celebren elecciones libres, justas, y transparentes en Nicaragua y hasta que el régimen empiece a promover la democracia,  fortalezca la autoridad de ley,  y respete el derecho a la libertad de reunirse y la libre expresión.  

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Ros-Lehtinen Responds To Fraudulent Elections In Nicaragua Orchestrated By Ortega


Ros-Lehtinen Responds To Fraudulent Elections In Nicaragua Orchestrated By Ortega

"The elections in Nicaragua were not free, fair, and transparent and had no credible international observers"

(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 in response to the fraudulent elections in Nicaragua. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“Even before any vote was cast in the Nicaragua elections, the fraudulent results were already determined because Ortega, his wife, and their corrupt regime used every dirty trick available to preserve their dynasty at the expense of the Nicaraguan people. Before polls were even open, the Ortega regime had gamed the system and used its power and control over the electoral council, the judiciary, and every other institution to guarantee that they would remain in power at all costs.

“The elections in Nicaragua were not free, fair, and transparent and had no credible international observers. The democratic space in the country has been closing as evidenced by the fact that opposition leaders had been stripped of their political parties and opposition national assembly members had been removed from office.

“The people of Nicaragua have continuously been protesting peacefully for their voices to be heard because they desire a fair and transparent election, not a charade that merely pretends to be democratic. The U.S. and responsible nations in our hemisphere must not legitimize this election. The NICA Act authored by Albio Sires and me is aimed at holding Ortega accountable for his abusive actions and helping to begin the process to restore democracy and the respect for human rights in Nicaragua.”

NOTE: The NICA Act, authored by Ros-Lehtinen, passed the House of Representatives on September 21, 2016 and would require the U.S. to oppose any loans from international finance institutions benefitting the Ortega regime until free, fair, and transparent elections are held and the regime is taking steps to promote democracy, strengthen the rule of law, and respect the right to freedom of association and expression.

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On The House Floor: My NICA Act Holds The Ortega Regime Accountable, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2016-12-06 17:36:19

On The House Floor: The Time For Significant Reforms At The UN Is Now, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2016-12-06 00:28:59

We Must Continue To Build On Our Bipartisan Commitment To #EndAIDS2030, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2016-12-01 16:10:00

On The House Floor, Ros-Lehtinen Celebrates The 40th Anniversary Of Highpoint Academy

2016-12-01 15:58:38

Ros-Lehtinen celebrates Br. Kevin for his many years of service to our community

2016-12-01 15:32:53

On The House Floor: Tom Lantos Dedicated His Life To Defending Human Rights, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2016-12-01 15:21:02

On The House Floor: Fidel Castro Was A Ruthless Dictator Who Ruled Cuba With An Iron Fist

2016-11-30 17:22:22

On The House Floor, Ros-Lehtinen Honors The Countless Cubans Who Suffered Under Fidel Castro

2016-11-30 15:14:14

On NBC6: We have an opportunity to help write a new chapter of freedom in Cuba, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2016-11-30 14:53:10

On The House Floor: Fidel's True Legacy Will Be The Thousands of People Her Murdered

2016-11-30 00:24:03

Ros-Lehtinen: US Must Veto Any UNSC Resolution Imposing Parameters On Israel

2016-11-29 23:04:34

En CNN: Obama No Debe Legitimar Al Regimen De Castro Con Visita Al Funeral De Fidel

2016-11-28 18:18:31

En Telemundo: Los cubanos en el exilio debemos seguir luchando por la libertad de Cuba

2016-11-27 19:24:34

Despite Fidel's Death, The People Of Cuba, Still Languish Under Raul's Iron Fist

2016-11-26 22:40:04

On CNN, We Must Seize This Opportunity To Bring Liberty Back To Cuba

2016-11-26 22:23:58

On WSVN: More Must Be Done To Ensure The Return of Democracy To Cuba

2016-11-26 21:30:32

Ros-Lehtinen Dice Que Fidel Castro Solo Ha Logrado Mantenerse En El Poder A Costa Del Pueblo Cubano

2016-11-26 21:13:53

En Univision 23, Ros-Lehtinen Reacciona A La Muerte De Fidel Castro

2016-11-26 20:46:31

On The House Floor, Ros-Lehtinen Says That New Agreement With The FARC Is Still A Bad Deal

2016-11-16 18:04:10

Ros-Lehtinen Wished Camilo Fernandez, Defender Of Human Rights In Cuba, A Happy 90th Birthday

2016-11-15 22:47:37

Contact Information

2206 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3931
Fax 202-225-5620

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.

Serving With

Jeff Miller


Ted Yoho


Ander Crenshaw


Ron DeSantis


John Mica


Bill Posey


Daniel Webster


Rich Nugent


Gus Bilirakis


David Jolly


Dennis Ross


Vern Buchanan


Tom Rooney


Curt Clawson


Mario Diaz-Balart


Carlos Curbelo


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