Mario Diaz-Balart

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Diaz-Balart Delivers Keynote Address at Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division Commencement, Receives Doctor of Humane Letters

2014/08/25

MIAMI — On Saturday, August 23, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) delivered the keynote address at Nova Southeastern University’s Health Professions Division Commencement. NSU also presented Diaz-Balart with a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa during the ceremonies. “It was an honor to join graduates and their families for this momentous occasion. I’d like to thank President Hanbury, Chancellor Lippman, and the entire faculty and staff of Nova Southeastern University for inviting me to speak at Saturday’s commencement. Saturday’s graduates are joining the health care field and many achievements await them in their noble careers. I am extremely grateful to receive this prestigious recognition and I am proud to stand beside the graduates as a fellow NSU shark.”   [[{"fid":"291","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] [[{"fid":"292","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] [[{"fid":"290","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] (1) Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart poses with the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, that he received as part of Nova Southeastern University's Health Professions Division Commencement ceremonies alongside Jacqueline Travisano, M.B.A., C.P.A., NSU executive vice president and chief operating officer. (2) Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart delivers the keynote address at NSU's Health Professions Division Commencement ceremonies. (3) Fred Lippman, R.Ph., Ed.D., chancellor of Nova Southeastern University's Health Professions Division; Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart; and George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., NSU president; join together at NSU's Health Professions Division Commencement. [Photo credit: Nova Southeastern University]   ### Read More

U.S. State Department Continues to Appease Cuban Regime with More Entry Visas to High-Level Operatives

2014/08/22

WASHINGTON - Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that the U.S. State Department has granted three high-level Cuban operatives U.S. entry visas.   "It is outrageous that the Obama Administration once again has granted U.S. entry visas to high-level Cuban operatives Mariela Castro, Josefina Vidal, and Antonio Castro. The same regime that brutally oppresses activists, violates international sanctions to provide weapons to North Korea, and continues to imprison U.S. humanitarian worker Alan Gross should not be rewarded with U.S. visits. “I strongly urge the administration to abandon its misguided decision to engage with the Cuban people's oppressors. Instead, it should redouble efforts to support civil society, democracy, and Cuba's true leaders who are courageously striving against the dictatorship to achieve liberty and basic human rights for the Cuban people.” ### Read More

U.S. Will Continue Pro-Democracy Work in Cuba and Wherever Freedom is Under Attack

2014/08/04

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after a recent report on USAID’s democracy programs in Cuba. "Efforts by the State Department and USAID to bring information to the Cuban people, and to find creative ways for the Cuban people to communicate with each other and with the outside world, are precisely the types of activities that the United States must vigorously pursue in closed societies. America's efforts during the Cold War helped to bring democracy to countries once isolated behind the Iron Curtain. Pro-democracy activities must be undertaken with discretion because the most innocuous acts are ‘crimes’ in totalitarian states. It is outrageous that the AP abandoned all pretense of objectivity and published an overtly biased hit piece against a program that enjoys broad bipartisan support. Does it similarly object to pro-democracy efforts in other oppressed societies such as Iran, Belarus, and North Korea? "The United States has a noble history of helping oppressed peoples achieve liberty. It will continue to do so in Cuba and every other corner of the world where freedom is under assault." ### Read More

EE.UU. debe imponer ya sanciones contundentes contra el régimen de Maduro

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON- El Congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) hizo las siguientes declaraciones después de que el Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. anunció restricciones de visados ​​contra 24 agentes del régimen de Maduro, responsables de abusos y violaciones de los derechos humanos: "La medida anunciada hoy por el Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. es una respuesta insuficiente a las graves violaciones de derechos humanos en Venezuela. A la vista de cómo el régimen de Maduro sigue agrediendo al pueblo venezolano, con flagrantes abusos que erosionan la democracia y el estado de derecho, la administración de Obama responde con una medida claramente insuficiente, más de un año después de que el mundo fuera testigo de la escalada de los abusos. Semejantes medidas harán poco para convencer al régimen que deje de atacar al pueblo, lanzar cargos penales falsos contra líderes de la oposición y dispararle a y torturar a manifestantes pacíficos. "En su lugar, la Administración debería nombrar a los culpables públicamente y de inmediato, congelando sus activos y revocando las visas a sus familiares, muchos de los cuales viajan a los Estados Unidos con frecuencia para disfrutar de sus lujosas casas, yates y coches. En lugar de seguirle el juego a Maduro y sus compinches, el presidente Obama y su administración deben imponer sanciones que realmente tengan un impacto en el régimen. Insto al Senado a considerar HR 4587, la Ley de Protección de los Derechos Humanos y la Democracia venezolana, que fue aprobada hace más de dos meses en la Cámara. La aprobación e implementación de este proyecto de ley mostrarían que el Presidente y el Senado se unen con la Cámara de Representantes en su solidaridad con el pueblo venezolano, luchando valientemente para recuperar la democracia y la libertad". ### Read More

U.S. Must Immediately Impose More Robust Sanctions Against the Maduro Regime

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the U.S.State Department announced visa restrictions against 24 Maduro regime operatives who are responsible for human rights abuses and violations.   “Today's announcement by the U.S. State Department is an insufficient answer to the serious problems in Venezuela. In the face of the Maduro regime’s ongoing egregious human rights violations, eroding democracy and the rule of law, the Obama Administration responds with a weak slap on the wrist more than a year after the world witnessed an increase in these abuses.  These weak actions today will do little to change the regime’s affinity for attacking peaceful civilians, launching bogus criminal charges on pro-democracy opposition leaders, and using live ammunition and torture of arrested protestors.  “Instead, the Administration should immediately and publicly name and shame these perpetrators, freeze their assets, and revoke the visas of their family members, many of whom travel to the United States frequently to enjoy their lavish homes, yachts, and cars.  Instead of continuing to pander to Maduro and his cronies, President Obama and his administration must issue sanctions that will have a real impact to diminish the regime. I urge the Senate to consider H.R. 4587, the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act, that was passed over two months ago in the House. The passage and implementation of this bill would show that the President and the Senate join the House of Representatives in its solidarity with the Venezuelan people as they struggle to regain democracy and freedom.” ### Read More

UN Must Hold Cuban Officials Accountable in Chong Chon Gang Incident

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the UN Security Council did not designate any sanction violations against Cuban officials who played a role in the Chong Chon Gang arms shipment. "It is outrageous that the UN Security Council did not hold the Castro dictatorship accountable for violating international sanctions when it aided North Korea with its illegal weapons program. The UN's own Panel of Experts determined that the Cuban regime violated sanctions and purposely attempted to deceive the international community by concealing military material, including MIG-21 jet fighters, under sugar shipments. The UN has failed to enforce its own judgment against the Castro dictatorship. The weapons shipment from Cuba to North Korea was the result of a malevolent partnership between two rogue regimes that were caught colluding to evade sanctions. Regrettably, only half of that partnership is being held accountable for its involvement. The Castro regime is a pariah in the international community that will aid America's enemies and oppose American interests at every turn. The Chong Chon Gang incident deserves swift and severe consequences to both regimes."  ### Read More

Financial Services Appropriations Bill Encourages Job Growth and Helps Small Businesses

2014/07/16

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the passage of the FY15 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. Diaz-Balart is Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. “By thoughtfully reducing wasteful spending on ineffective and inadequate agencies like the International Revenue Service, this bill is able to provide funds for programs that encourage job growth and help small businesses, like the Small Business Administration. Scandal after scandal continues to emerge from the IRS, and we must make sure that the agency’s abuse and political targeting practices are finally put to an end. The bill also includes a provision that would put the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee so that Congress and the American people can have oversight over the agency instead of allowing it to frivolously spend money. A provision included to eliminate surplus properties and consolidate space will reduce the General Services Administration’s (GSA) unnecessary and unused properties. Requiring agencies like the IRS, the CFPB, and the GSA to extensively record and report their spending allows for diligent oversight to avoid mismanagement and squandering by corrupt senior officials. “I congratulate Chairman Crenshaw on his leadership in this bill’s passage and thank him for working with me on the many priorities in this bill that will greatly impact our constituents in Florida.”   ### Read More

Diaz-Balart Visits Guatemala, Honduras

2014/07/15

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after returning from a trip to Central America. Diaz-Balart is a member of Speaker Boehner’s Unaccompanied Minors Working Group, chaired by Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX). "This weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Guatemala and Honduras, two countries in Central America from where an influx of the unaccompanied minors are entering the United States. The situation at the border is very concerning, as many children are crossing the border alone, risking their lives on a dangerous journey. It also shows another example of President Obama’s failed policies.” “During the trip, we had the opportunity to meet with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. We also had the opportunity to witness the work being doing in a community outreach center in Honduras that focuses on preventing children from migrating to the United States. These meetings and site visits were helpful as we continue to gather more information on the situation to make an assessment on how to best handle it. “I am grateful to Chairwoman Granger for her leadership. I look forward to continue working with her and the rest of the working group to find the right solution to the humanitarian crisis on the border." Read More

Diaz-Balart Remembers "13 de Marzo" Victims

2014/07/13

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement honoring the victims of the “13 de Marzo” attack on its 20th anniversary. "Today marks twenty years since Castro’s thugs mercilessly attacked Cubans aboard the ‘13 de Marzo’ vessel as they were attempting to escape their island prison.  In the dead of night in the dark sea, regime-owned vessels repeatedly rammed the defenseless tugboat until it broke apart and sank.  With the survivors in the water, the perpetrators attempted to drown them with their boats and powerful water cannons.  This evil act resulted in the massacre of innocent Cubans, including children, and revealed the utter depravity of the Castro dictatorship once again. “On this day, we honor the lives of the victims and mourn their lost days on earth.  My prayers are with their families on this solemn day." Read More

Declaración de Diaz-Balart sobre la reforma migratoria

2014/07/10

WASHINGTON- El Congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) emitió la siguiente declaración durante una conferencia de prensa sobre la reforma migratoria. “Desde los años 2009 y 2010, junto a un grupo bipartidista de colegas, he trabajado para lograr una reforma migratoria. Lamentablemente durante esos años, el liderazgo Demócrata se negó a considerar el proyecto de ley.  "Durante el último año y medio, he trabajado sin parar con colegas de ambos partidos para redactar una legislación que obtendría una mayoría de los Republicanos y un numero de Demócratas dispuestos a dejar a un lado la política y lograr una reforma migratoria. “En particular, quiero agradecer a Luis Gutiérrez toda su ayuda, su voluntad de, cuando es necesario, enfrentar tanto a los Republicanos como a los Demócratas y al Presidente. “Después de mucho trabajo y múltiples borradores, finalmente redactamos legislación que podría obtener el apoyo bipartidista necesario. Aprendimos las lecciones de la legislación de amnistía del 1986 y del proyecto de ley del Senado del año pasado para no repetir sus errores. “Debido a la extraordinaria falta de confianza en este Presidente, trabajé para garantizar que la legislación verificaría independientemente y mantendría a éste y a futuros presidentes responsables de finalmente asegurar las fronteras. El proyecto de ley es una solución de sentido común  para los indocumentados que reconoce que no vamos a gastar decenas de miles de millones de dólares reuniendo y deportando a millones de trabajadores indocumentados que han estado aquí por muchos años. Mi solución incluía un proceso para que los que vinieron aquí ilegalmente pudieran obtener su estatus, pudieran obtener su derecho a permanecer aquí y demostrar su compromiso con Estados Unidos. Es un enfoque eficiente y eficaz, que es bueno para la economía de Estados Unidos y justo también para las personas que vinieron aquí legalmente. “Estoy muy agradecido por la colaboración, el asesoramiento y la confianza que he recibido de muchos de mis colegas, especialmente del Presidente de la Cámara John Boehner y su personal. También quiero agradecer a Paul Ryan su orientación y liderazgo, y otros Republicanos de la Cámara, como mi hermana en la lucha, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, por sus aportes constructivos. “A pesar de nuestros mejores esfuerzos, hoy fui informado por el liderazgo Republicano que no tienen intención de llevar este proyecto de ley al pleno de la Cámara este año. “Es decepcionante y altamente lamentable, porque tenemos una oportunidad única para asegurar las fronteras, arreglar nuestro sistema migratorio y fortalecer a nuestra economía. “Este sistema no va a arreglarse por sí solo, y retrasar una solución de sentido común sólo va a empeorar las cosas, como es evidente por lo que está pasando actualmente con la crisis en la frontera del sur. “Es altamente irresponsable no tratar el tema. Sé que es difícil, especialmente cuando hay un presidente en que no confían el pueblo o el Congreso de Estados Unidos, y que no ha hecho cumplir las leyes, a pesar de sus alegaciones contrarias. Pero nosotros fuimos enviados aquí por el pueblo americano precisamente para hacer frente a los problemas difíciles, no para tomar el camino más fácil. “Al bloquear la reforma, bien cuando Nancy Pelosi fue Presidenta de la Cámara, o ahora, estamos abdicando nuestro deber. Sobre todo cuando tenemos a un Presidente que está dispuesto a actuar unilateralmente mediante acción ejecutiva que él mismo ha dicho que es legalmente cuestionable y que no proporcionará una solución a largo plazo para nuestro sistema de inmigración, y que creo que incluso podría empeorar la situación. “Espero que en un futuro próximo el liderazgo permita que mi legislación llegue al Pleno de la Cámara. Yo no me rendiré hasta que no arreglamos el sistema de inmigración que todos reconocen que sencillamente no funciona. “Quiero que este bien claro que estoy preparado para proceder en cualquier momento.”   ### Read More

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Contact Information

436 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4211
Fax 202-225-8576
mariodiazbalart.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Appropriations

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.


Serving With

Jeff Miller

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Steve Southerland

FLORIDA's 2nd DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

Ander Crenshaw

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

John Mica

FLORIDA's 7th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Rich Nugent

FLORIDA's 11th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Curt Clawson

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT

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