IMMOKALEE – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, was the keynote speaker at today’s dedication of Hatchers Preserve, a newly constructed affordable housing community in Immokalee’s Eden Park-Esperanza Place neighborhood.
“I was honored to take part in today’s dedication of Hatchers Preserve. This new community will provide a safe roof over the heads of 18 deserving families. As Housing Appropriations Chair, I will continue to support programs that provide affordable housing like Hatchers Preserve. Today's dedication ceremony is a prime example of the federal government and local leaders coming together to advance solutions. I especially want to commend the great work of Rural Neighborhoods, including Steve Kirk, for their vision and determination to see this project to its completion. I look forward to continue working with the Southwest Florida community to protect and preserve affordable housing.”
Photos can be attributed to the Office of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, today welcomed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to South Florida as the Secretary continues his listening tour across the country. Together, they visited and met with housing officials at Villa Aurora and Hoffman Gardens, permanent supportive housing and a public housing site in Little Havana and Hialeah, respectively.
“I was pleased to welcome Secretary Carson to South Florida as part of his national listening tour. Affordable housing and community development programs continue to be top priorities in South Florida, and I was glad to showcase the importance of housing assistance to our community,” said Diaz-Balart. Continued support from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is critical to maintain them. I am grateful to Secretary Carson for accepting my invitation to visit South Florida’s housing programs, and I look forward to continue working with him to ensure affordable housing is provided to those who rely on it in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”
"I appreciate Representative Diaz-Balart showing me how public/private partnerships are working to provide low income housing in his community. At HUD we are working to create a holistic approach to housing that will help South Florida residents," said Carson.
Since 2015, Diaz-Balart has served as Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. As Chairman of this Subcommittee, Diaz-Balart has jurisdiction over and sets funding levels for various transportation and housing programs.
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) today hosted a tax reform roundtable. Among those invited were local businesses owners who stand to benefit from reforming our current tax code.
“I was glad to welcome local business owners to discuss tax reform and how it could impact their businesses. Our current tax code is too complicated, for individuals and business owners alike. As Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady have outlined in the Better Way agenda, by creating a simpler, fairer tax code, we can incentivize job creation, allowing for advancement and opportunity for Americans across the country. Instead of hampering business owners with burdensome tax regulations, reforming the current tax code will strengthen our economy.
“I thank today’s participants for their input and feedback, and look forward to returning to Washington to share this vital information with my colleagues.”
Photos can be attributed to the Office of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the Trump administration announced a military air strike against the Assad regime.
“I commend our troops for their effectiveness in last night’s military operation. The Assad regime has terrorized the Syrian people, and unlike the previous administration, President Trump will not tolerate Assad's egregious actions. I applaud President Trump for his stance against those who would use these horrifying weapons.”
WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and Bill Nelson (FL) led a bipartisan, bicameral group of 47 members of Congress in urging President Trump to maintain a comprehensive effort across the federal government to combat the Zika virus.
“Last year, the United States confronted the Zika virus, which became a serious public health crisis,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart. “With the mosquito-borne illness expected to make a comeback this summer, we must ensure Florida and other states impacted by Zika have the support of the federal government.”
“The worst of the Zika season is almost here and Floridians are once again on the front lines,” said Congressman Deutch. “Families are worried about their kids and local businesses are concerned about tourism. Zika may have faded from the headlines, but South Florida urgently needs federal resources to be dedicated to preventing infection, understanding the risks of birth defects, and the discovery of a vaccine. I’m proud to join this bipartisan chorus calling for a strong federal response before Florida hits the warm, wet months that will reinvigorate Zika-carrying mosquito populations and put our communities at greater risk.”
A PDF of the letter can be found here, or read below:
Dear Mr. President:
We urge you to continue to support a comprehensive response across the federal government to protect against the threat of the Zika virus. As of March 29, 43,485 cases of Zika virus disease have been reported in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories. With cases in nearly every corner of the United States, preventing the spread of Zika virus should be a national priority. As we enter mosquito season, maintaining federal support for vector control, diagnostic testing, and public awareness and education efforts will be critical to stopping the spread of the virus. A robust response to this threat will be especially important to the health and safety of Americans living in regions with large mosquito populations.
As you know, Zika virus is transmitted when humans are bitten by infected mosquitos, through blood transfusions, and through sexual contact. Additionally, pregnant women are among some of the most vulnerable populations. While many of the cases reported in the states were acquired abroad, Florida, Texas and the territories experienced local transmission of the virus, requiring a large investment of federal, state and local resources. So far, the CDC has tallied a total of 5,182 cases of Zika virus infection nationwide, with approximately 216 cases in Florida and six cases in Texas from local mosquitoes, and more than 38,000 cases in Puerto Rico and the other territories.
Until we have a vaccine, Zika virus will continue to threaten American families with increased risks of birth defects, with the most serious cases presenting life-long challenges and high health care costs. Researchers have also linked Zika infection with neurologic, eye, and heart problems in adults, and there is still much more that we do not know about this virus.
Last year, after months of debate, Congress worked together in a bipartisan manner to appropriate $1.1 billion to support our nation’s Zika response. We urge your administration to ensure all funding is appropriately distributed in a timely manner to support efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus and expedite vaccine research to protect our constituents from this public health threat.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to working with you as we continue the fight against the Zika virus.
WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), and Gregg Harper (MS-03), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, along with 147 congressional colleagues, sent a letter to President Donald Trump ahead of his upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The letter emphasized the United States’ and Taiwan’s mutual interests and urged the President to reaffirm the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relations.
A PDF of the letter can be found here, or read the full text below:
Dear Mr. President:
We write to emphasize the mutual interests of the United States and our vital strategic partner Taiwan before your upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
As co-chairs and members of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and other good friends of Taiwan in Congress, we seek to ensure that the United States continues to adhere to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances – cornerstones of U.S.-Taiwan policy. We also urge your administration to uphold the commitment of every president since the TRA’s passage in 1979 to continue to provide defensive weapons to Taiwan predicated on Taiwan’s demonstrated military needs, and without any prior consultation with Beijing.
Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and our tenth largest trading partner. Consistent U.S. policy toward Taiwan is key to sustaining peace, security, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We trust that any future discussions will be rooted firmly in the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances. We wish you success in your impending meeting with President Xi Jinping.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement in response to further degradation of democracy and rule of law in Venezuela.
“The Maduro regime’s corruption of Venezuela’s judiciary to once again ignore the will of the Venezuelan people and sideline the National Assembly is another shameful assault on democracy and the rule of law. An independent judiciary and representation in government are essential to a democracy. In further degrading them by taking away the National Assembly’s power and placing it in the hands of a corrupted court, the Maduro regime takes another step toward tyranny.
“While the Venezuelan people endure escalating shortages, inflation, corruption, and crime, the Maduro regime seeks to seize evermore power. Democracies in the region must demand a restoration of democracy, including a fair, independent judiciary, free expression, and democratically-elected leadership, and must push for an end to Venezuela’s rapid descent into authoritarianism.”
WASHINGTON –Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), a senior member of the House Budget and Appropriations Committees, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s FY 18 budget request.
“I am eager to carefully review the President's budget request. It is clear this budget attempts to focus on our nation's real fiscal challenges, and it is Congress' responsibility to thoroughly examine how and where we allocate the tax dollars of hard working Americans. Further, this budget request presents an opportunity to have a conversation about our national priorities and the need to address the drivers of our debt. I look forward to Congress exercising its oversight role and ultimately making funding decisions.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), a senior member of the House Budget and Appropriations Committees, released the following statement after today’s vote in the House Budget Committee.
“Today’s vote was merely a procedural advancement of the bill from the Budget Committee to the Rules Committee, where legislative changes can and must take place. My committee vote does not mean I will support final passage of this legislation as it presently reads. I have clearly stated that I have some serious concerns with the bill in its current form. This isn’t the end of the road, but rather, one step of a long process that will include conference with the Senate.
“It is well known the Affordable Care Act is collapsing; out-of-pocket costs and premiums have skyrocketed, insurance companies are leaving the exchanges, and state marketplaces have fewer choices. In Florida’s 25th District, the impact of Obamacare is significant. Residents in two of the three counties I represent, Collier and Hendry, only have one insurance provider, resulting in no choice or competition. I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure the replacement addresses the varying health insurance needs of our country, lowers costs, and bolsters the economy.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) delivered the following statement in support of H.R. 1301, Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2017. The legislation passed with a vote of 371-48. Watch the floor speech or read his full remarks, as prepared for delivery.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the FY17 Defense Appropriations bill. I want to start by commending the Chairman of the full Committee and former Chairman of this Subcommittee – Mr. Frelinghuysen – for this commitment to the men and women in uniform and for finalizing a bill that addresses our growing national security challenges. I also want to recognize the good work and leadership of the new subcommittee chairwoman – Ms. Granger. She is a longstanding champion of a strong national defense. Finally, I want to thank the Ranking Members, Ms. Lowey and Mr. Visclosky for their partnership in moving this bill forward
“Mr. Speaker, with this bill, Congress fulfills an essential constitutional obligation – to provide for a common defense. This bill does good things for the men and women who serve our nation in the military; it enhances our national security and starts rebuilding our military. This bill fully funds a 2.1% pay raise for the military, instead of the 1.6% requested by the prior Administration. We also target resources for the health care of our service members and their families. We provide important health programs and research into spinal cord, vision, and traumatic brain injuries so we can deliver the tools and best treatment for battlefield wounds.
“Throughout the year we’ve heard testimony from our service chiefs about the necessity to address our military's alarming readiness shortfalls. This bill addresses the readiness problems that are making it more and more difficult for our troops to accomplish their mission. We devote resources to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and training, to ensure we maintain our military superiority. Lastly, this bill provides the necessary and essential equipment, weapon systems, and platforms needed to maintain and sustain our military superiority in the air, sea, and ground.
“Mr. Speaker, I would just end with what I mentioned before: I believe the principal job of the federal government is to defend and protect our country. This Congress has the responsibility to raise, support, provide, and maintain the military forces of the United States. The Defense Appropriations bill before us does just that and it deserves the support of all of us.”
436 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Mario Diaz-Balart is currently fulfilling his 6th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Diaz-Balart was asked to serve on one of the most prestigious committees: House Committee on Appropriations. As part of the House Committee on Appropriations, he sits on three of its subcommittees: State and Foreign Operations, Commerce, Justice, and Science, and as Vice-Chair of Financial Services.
Diaz-Balart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional district, which at the time, covered portions of Miami-Dade County, Collier County, and Monroe County. Diaz-Balart continued to represent the three counties until 2010, when he ran unopposed for Florida’s 21st Congressional district. After the 2012 redistricting cycle, he ran for the newly redrawn 25th Congressional district, to which he was elected. The 25th district now includes parts of Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, and Hendry Counties.
Prior to his time in Congress, Diaz-Balart served 14 years in the Florida State Legislature in both chambers, House and Senate. At age 31, Diaz-Balart became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida Senate, as well as the first Hispanic to serve as Chair of the Combined Appropriations / Ways and Means / Finance and Tax Committee. During his tenure in the state legislature, he consistently ranked among the most effective legislators in Florida, developing a reputation as a budget hawk, and supporting minority voting rights.
In Washington, Diaz-Balart has worked tireless to make American homes and communities safer and stronger in the face of hurricanes and other natural disasters. In 2013, he introduced the Safe Building Code Incentive Act (H.R. 1878), legislation that would provide financial incentives to states that adopt and enforce nationally recognized model building codes. These states would also qualify for an additional 4 percent of funding for hazard mitigation grants. That same year, he introduced the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act (H.R. 2241), which would incentivize home and building owners to utilize resilient construction methods when building and renovating home and commercial structures in federally declared disaster areas. Over the long run, both of these bills would save hard-earned taxpayer dollars and minimize the risk of property damage, but more importantly, would reduce the loss of life.
Diaz-Balart has also been a strong proponent of improving public safety and transportation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Diaz-Balart has helped deliver millions of federal dollars for the I-75 widening project and Miami-Dade Transit. As a true South Floridian, the Everglades restoration has been an ongoing project for Diaz-Balart. As founder and co-chairman of the Everglades Caucus, he has consistently fought to secure billions for the overall restoration and prevented massive funding cuts in recent years. Diaz-Balart has promoted hurricane preparedness and ensured federal relief for Florida in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita.
Diaz-Balart was born on September 25, 1961 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Rafael and Hilda Diaz-Balart, and the youngest of four brothers (Rafael, Lincoln, and Jose). He studied Political Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Diaz-Balart currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and son.