Mario Diaz-Balart

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

2014/09/15

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, released the following statement commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. Beginning in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson as Hispanic Heritage Week, it was later expanded to cover a 30-day period in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. This month honors the diverse influences brought by Hispanics to the United States, and their vital role in American culture and society. This week also celebrates the independence of seven Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. "I'm proud to join the millions of Hispanics around the U.S. who are celebrating the rich culture, history, and accomplishments of our community. The Hispanic community has made extraordinary contributions to the U.S., and by recognizing those efforts, we are able to bring awareness to younger generations to the countless opportunities afforded to all Americans. From achievements in the arts, courageous service in our armed forces, to the successes of their small businesses, Hispanics have made a significant impact on our country. I also want to honor the seven countries who are celebrating their independence this week, and I look forward to continue working with them to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Latin America,” said Diaz-Balart. “During Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to recognize our distinct cultures and celebrate the diversity, which are a part of our great country. The Hispanic community continues to grow and thrive in the United States. They contribute to our economy, to our communities, and to our government. So as we celebrate the Hispanic unity, let’s also make a commitment to re-dedicate ourselves to education and job promotion. Only though economic and educational empowerment can our greater Hispanic community reach its full potential. I’d also like to congratulate the many Latin American countries that during this special time are celebrating their independence, a reminder of the Hispanic and American mosaic that we all live in,” said Ros-Lehtinen.     ###   Read More

Castros’ Trafficking of Doctors is Gross Violation of International Labor Standards

2014/09/09

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that the Castro regime has been paid over a billion dollars from the Brazilian government in exchange for trafficking medical doctors. "It is disgraceful and a gross violation of international labor standards that the Castro regime continues to lease human beings to foreign investors and governments. Incredibly, the Castro regime touts its sale of cheap medical labor as a noble enterprise, but it is hardly charity.  Despite denouncements of the Cuban regime's use of physicians as slave labor, Brazil has provided over a billion dollars to the Castro dictatorship in exchange for Cuban physicians who have no say in their salaries or working conditions.”   "There are thousands of Cuban doctors working against their will in Brazil, and thousands more in places such as Venezuela and Africa.  As Dr. Ramona Matos Rodriguez's case revealed earlier this year, the contract between the Castro regime and the government of Brazil provides a lucrative source of revenue to the dictatorship which confiscates as much as almost ninety percent of physicians' wages.  As usual, it is the Cuban worker who suffers the consequences of abhorrent working conditions, lack of independent contracts, and abysmal salaries.  I commend physicians such as Dr. Matos for the courage of bringing attention to the egregious lack of worker freedoms in Cuba, and urge others to condemn the Castro regime's sale of forced labor."     ### Read More

Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen Urge Mexico Not to Forcibly Return Fleeing Cubans

2014/09/03

WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) sent a letter to Mexican Ambassador to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora Icaza, urging the government of Mexico not to repatriate 13 Cuban nationals who were intercepted at sea while fleeing the Castros’ repression. “Cubans forcibly repatriated to the island often face harsh punitive measures. It is imperative that Cubans who are found fleeing from their island prison are not made to return to the oppression that they risk their lives to escape. I urge the Mexican government to work with us to ensure that these individuals seeking freedom are not forced to face the inevitable repression they will endure if returned to the Castro regime,” said Diaz-Balart. See the letter here. ### Read More

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

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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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