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.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) received the 2017 Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). Congressman Diaz-Balart was recognized alongside his brother, former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
“I am grateful to NALEO for this prestigious award. Your organization is comprised of Latino elected and appointed officials, and to be recognized by my peers from all over the country is truly an honor,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. “This award is especially humbling because I am receiving it alongside my role model and mentor – my brother, Lincoln.
“I'd like to thank NALEO President Pauline Medrano, NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas, and the rest of the NALEO board and leadership team for this recognition,” continued Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. “Representing my community in Congress is one of my greatest privileges, and I will continue to work diligently to advocate for my constituents in Washington.”
“NALEO is pleased to honor two distinguished Latino public servants who have made invaluable contributions to the Latino community and nation throughout their accomplished careers,” stated Pauline Medrano, NALEO President and Dallas County Treasurer. “Both Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart have set the bar for what it means to use public office as an avenue to make positive meaningful change in the lives of immigrants, Latinos and all Americans, exemplifying the true spirit of service demonstrated by the late Congressman Roybal.”
Photo Credit: Office of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement regarding President Trump’s recent remarks on immigration reform.
“I am very encouraged by President Trump’s recent comments on immigration reform. It is no secret our country has a broken immigration system. I have said many times that we must come together from both sides of the aisle to find a commonsense solution on immigration reform. It is extremely disappointing that many from both the left and right extremes are quick to criticize the President’s willingness to work with Congress to fix our immigration system. This kind of political gimmickry is unnecessary and unhelpful to a bipartisan, legislative solution. I continue to believe this legislation must strengthen our borders, adhere to the rule of law, offer a permanent and humane solution to those living in the shadows, bolster our economy, and modernize our antiquated visa system. I remain committed and ready to work with the White House and congressional colleagues from both sides of the aisle.”
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement one day before the “Liberty and Life” award is to be given to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Alamgro, and posthumously to former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin.
“I commend the Secretary General of the OAS, the Honorable Luis Almagro, for agreeing to accept personally the first ‘Liberty and Life’ award in Havana on February 22, 2017. The creation of this award by youth groups testifies to the vitality, determination, and ingenuity of Cuba’s pro-democracy movement. Oswaldo Paya left the Cuban people a remarkable legacy through his courageous daughter Rosa Maria Paya and the growing movement that continues in his name. The regime’s violent attempt to silence him and end his mission have only amplified his message and strengthened the determination of Cuba’s freedom advocates.
“Reports indicate that the Castro regime will take drastic measures to prevent this pro-democracy event from taking place. According to reports, former Chilean parliamentarian and former minister of foreign affairs Mariana Aylwin was prevented from entering Cuba to accept the award on behalf of her late father; former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon was also prevented from traveling to the island; and Cuban activists Julio Alvarez and Felix Fara were arrested. The Castro regime’s malevolent totalitarianism, prohibiting all forms of dissent, has not changed.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement on the third anniversary of the politically-motivated imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez by the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
“Despite international condemnation of his unjustifiable imprisonment, Leopoldo Lopez remains a political prisoner of the Maduro regime. Lopez is one of many pro-democracy members of the opposition, including many elected officials, that have been imprisoned for running afoul of the corrupt Maduro regime. As the human rights conditions continue to deteriorate, the integrity of government institutions are further corrupted, and the economy is failing, the Maduro regime lashes out against those who seek to address these mounting failures. I commend the Trump administration for placing tough sanctions on Maduro’s right-hand thug this week, and encourage further pressure on corrupt Venezuelan operatives and human rights abusers. "I was honored to meet with Lopez’s wife, and Mitzy Ledezma, wife of political prisoner Antonio Ledezma, in Washington earlier this week as they travel the world to raise awareness of their husbands' unjust imprisonments. We must continue to work toward restoration of democratic institutions and civil society in Venezuela, which begins with the immediate release of all political prisoners.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after President Trump nominated R. Alexander Acosta, Dean of Florida International University Law School, as Secretary of the Department of Labor.
“I am excited to learn of Alex Acosta’s nomination for Labor Secretary. He has an impressive record of achievement, having served on the National Labor Relations Board, as well as receiving presidential appointments to both U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida and Assistant Attorney General during his career. Alex has also been an exemplary Dean of one of the best law schools in the state, leading FIU to earn the highest bar passage rates in Florida for three years in a row. He is a man of great principle, integrity, and courage, and I am confident he will do an excellent job serving our nation.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after President Trump and Vice President Pence met with Lilian Tintori, wife of Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez.
"I commend President Trump and Vice President Pence for meeting with the wife of political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez, and for the administration's swift sanction of Tareck El Aissami, Maduro’s right-hand thug and narcotrafficker. The tyrannical and despotic Maduro regime continues to hold Venezuela hostage, forcing deteriorating conditions, perpetrating human rights abuses, and a sinking economy. We must continue to demand the release of Lopez and other activists across the country. Congress continues to stand firmly in solidarity with the heroic Venezuelan people, who can now also count on the steadfast support of the White House."
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the Trump administration announced sanctions against Tareck El Aissami, the recently named Vice President of Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Last week, Diaz-Balart was one of 34 Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Trump calling for the sanctions against El Aissami.
“I thank President Trump and his administration for taking swift action on our letter to sanction a corrupt and dangerous Maduro regime operative. I greatly appreciate the ability to work closely with the White House on such an important issue to our national security within our hemisphere. Human rights abuses and corruption in Venezuela continue to escalate, and El Aissami’s recent appointment as Maduro’s right-hand thug will only worsen conditions for the Venezuelan people. El Aissami is an infamous narcotrafficker under investigation by the U.S. government for drug crimes.
“I commend the Trump Administration for taking a strong stand against the oppressive, anti-American Maduro regime, and I look forward to working with the White House in pressing for human rights, rule of law and a restoration of democratic institutions for the Venezuelan people.”
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.
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Though I was not able to be there, I'm glad my staff could recognize Patricia Andrade for all of her contributions to our South Florida community
Enjoyed an informative meeting with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to discuss transportation priorities and South Florida's SMART plan.
Discussed the effects of narcotrafficking in Panama and how we can help fight it with Minister of Security Alexis Bethancourt
Met with Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen about the department's effective programs, like the
Spoke to the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition this morning about the critical role aircraft carriers play in our national security.