“The Obama administration’s clueless and inept foreign policy is a major contributing factor to why we now face this Syrian refugee crisis. We know that the Islamic State is utilizing the refugee crisis to send radical Islamic jihadists around the world, as we saw with the horrific attacks in Paris. Unfortunately, this administration has demonstrated that it cannot properly screen these refugees. This was confirmed last month when FBI Director Comey said that his agency could run into issues screening incoming refugees if they were not already in the FBI database. Knowing these facts, it is clear that at this time, the Obama administration cannot be trusted to continue this program which jeopardizes our national security.
“In order to help stem this refugee crisis, we must have a strategic plan to deal with Syria, Iraq, and the Islamic State in the Middle East. Through the appropriations process, we have provided financial assistance to these refugees and countries in the affected region, and I still fully support that assistance. At the end of the day, we have to ensure that our most important priority is our national security.”
Washington, D.C.—Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Gerry Connolly, Albio Sires, and Gregg Harper, the co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, made the following statement regarding the meeting between the presidents of Taiwan and China:
“Last weekend, the leaders of Taiwan and China met for the first time in more than sixty six years. As co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, the largest nation based caucus in the House of Representatives aiming to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan relations, we will continue to strive for dignity and equality for Taiwan, as well as peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.
“It is crystal clear that due to China’s long time coercion, Taiwan remains isolated from international society, inadequately armed and threatened. The United States will continue to honor the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances, and will continue to provide defensive weapons based solely upon our judgement of the needs of Taiwan. We also will continue to examine ways to help Taiwan to join international organizations and regional trade and economic mechanisms. Taiwan is a close friend, strong ally and important security partner with the United States. We reaffirm our commitment to Taiwan in order to preserve its thriving democracy, freedom and peace.”
WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the arrests of several Cuban pro-democracy activists by the Castro regime.
"Yesterday, Castro regime thugs once again arrested pro-democracy activists Edelvis Granda Pérez, Ciro Alexis Casanova Pérez, Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, leader of the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights, and Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez*, leader of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front. Upon the arrests, Castro’s thugs went into his home and seized Antunez’s computer, CDs, and other personal items. On the day prior to these activists’ arrests, they began a campaign of 'No, no and no' to the dictatorship and were protesting the unjust imprisonment of activists Geovanys Izaguirre Hernández and Laudelino Rodríguez Mendoza whose 'crime' was distributing leaflets protesting the Castro regime.
"Once again, the Castro regime has demonstrated that its malevolence and brutality have not waned. In fact, repression continues to escalate. Shamefully, the Obama administration’s policy of appeasing dictators and its abandonment of promoting human rights in Cuba has emboldened the regime to intensify its oppression against the Cuban people. Although those arrested yesterday finally were released today, they and the Cuban people remain imprisoned by a regime that arrests, brutalizes, threatens and steals from them at will. Egregious human rights abuses such as those committed against Cuba’s pro-democracy leaders yesterday must be roundly condemned and sanctions tightened until fundamental rights and liberties are fully realized in Cuba."
*In his support of a free and democratic Cuba, then-Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Antúnez to be his guest at the 2015 State of the Union address.
MIAMI — Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) honored a group of local veterans for their service in the United States Armed Forces. The Congressional Veteran Commendation is a nominations-based program designed to recognize the wartime sacrifices and peacetime community involvement of veterans residing in Florida’s 25th Congressional District. The honorees, listed below, will be interviewed and their wartime collections will be added to the Veterans History Project, sponsored by the Library of Congress.
Master Sergeant John A. Cornejo – United States Air Force, Hialeah Gardens, Florida
Commander Douglas J. Fitzgerald – United States Navy, Doral, Florida
Radioman 3rd Class Gilbert Antonio Irizarry – United States Navy, Hialeah, Florida
Captain Crisilda Irizarry-Anson – United States Army, Doral, Florida
Chief Petty Officer Matthew William Kindermann – United States Marine Corps/United States Navy, La Belle, Florida
Congressman Diaz-Balart with honorees, from left to right: Commander Douglas J. Fitzgerald, Master Sergeant John A. Cornejo, Radioman 3rd Class Gilbert A. Irizarry, and Chief Petty Officer Matthew W. Kindermann. Not pictured: Captain Crisilda Irizarry-Anson
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) yesterday introduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, urging the Secretary of State to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. The U.S. has officially listed individual members, branches, and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, but has not designated the organization as a whole. The Muslim Brotherhood poses a direct and severe threat to U.S. national security through radical jihadist attempts to eliminate and destroy America and its allies.
“This bill recognizes the simple fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical Islamic terrorist group. For years, American presidents of both parties have correctly designated the Brotherhood’s various affiliates, such as Hamas and Ansar al-Sharia, as terrorist groups. They have designated individual Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Shaykh Abd-al-Majd Al-Zindani, who was complicit in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, and Sami Al-Hajj, who was captured on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2001 running money and weapons for al Qaida, as terrorists. Now we can reject the fantasy that their parent institution is a political entity that is somehow separate from these violent activities,” Sen. Cruz said. “A number of our Muslim allies have taken this common-sense step, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. As this bill details, the Brotherhood’s stated goal is to wage violent jihad against its enemies, and our legislation is a reality check that the United States is on that list as well.”
“I proudly join Sen. Cruz to introduce this bill in both chambers. This legislation codifies into law something that is long overdue. The Muslim Brotherhood has a long history of terrorism around the world. The group supports and stands behind numerous terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence and aggression,” Rep. Diaz-Balart said. “It is time for Congress and the Department of State to recognize and sanction them as they deserve – as a foreign terrorist organization.”
Read the full text of Rep. Diaz-Balart's bill here.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
"The two year budget deal will help to stabilize our nation's economy. First and foremost, the budget prevents President Obama from continuing his political games with our national security, allowing Congress to support our troops with the additional resources they need. It also provides necessary entitlement reform by strengthening the Social Security program and the Disability Insurance Trust fund, and protecting seniors from a devastating 50% increase to their Medicare Part B premiums. The budget deal alo eliminates the wasteful auto-enrollment mandate from the President's healthcare law. The mandate forced employees to auto-enroll in their employers' healthcare coverage, leaving them to pay for expensive insurance they might not want or need.
"I want to thank Speaker Boehner for his leadership on this momentous budget deal. This once again shows his commitment to the American people and our country, even down to the last hours of his time as a Member of Congress."
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 597, To Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
"Today's passage to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank will help support the American economy. The Export-Import Bank needed serious reforms, and this legislation achieves that by strengthening risk management, increasing small business lending requirements, enforcing greater anti-corruption safeguards. At a time where nations such as China and Russia are subsidizing businesses for exports, I do not think unilaterally disarming efforts to ensure American businesses can compete internationally is in the United States’ best interest, especially back home in Southern Florida.
“I proudly represent the district that ranks #1 among all congressional districts by the number of businesses the banks supports. The majority of these businesses are not Fortune 500 companies, but rather small businesses heavily reliant on exports-imports. These small businesses depend on financing from the Export-Import Bank to compete with the heavily subsidized businesses in China and Russia, and provide jobs to individuals in the district. The district ranks #15 in the total dollar value of exports supported related to the Bank’s financing.
“This bill will not only bolster our national economy, but our local economy as well. I will continue to support legislation that will positively impact Florida’s 25th congressional district.”
WASHINGTON –Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart released the following statement after the United Nations General Assembly voted to oppose U.S. sanctions against the Castro regime. Both the United States and Israel voted against the resolution.
“Today, once again, the United Nations General Assembly held a purposeless vote to reprimand the United States Congress for its solidarity with the Cuban people and opposition to the oppressive Castro regime.
“The UN has a checkered history of supporting dictators at the expense of the people. When human rights activists in Cuba attempt to distribute the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they routinely are arrested, beaten, and harassed. The Castro regime does not respect the inherent dignity of the individual and the inalienable rights to which all people are entitled, which are the cornerstones of that Declaration. It is a disgrace that the UN body does not defend its essential principles as vigorously as it defends the Castro dictatorship. Instead, it has again turned a blind eye to mounting human rights abuses perpetrated against the Cuban people and focused its misguided criticism on the United States.”
WASHINGTON – Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that Collier County achieved a substantial victory in a 10-year struggle with FEMA over reimbursement for sand replenishment and beach restoration projects following Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005 and Tropical Storm Gabrielle in 2001. Collier County pursued a corrective response to reverse FEMA’s decision to take back (deobligate) millions in funding previously approved by both the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) and FEMA. FEMA granted Collier’s appeal of $7.76 million after considerable documentation showed Collier was eligible for costs associated with sand replacement and engineering, survey, and environmental compliance costs. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) welcomed the news with the following statement:
“This is a big step in the right direction for Collier and shows what is possible when we all work together to limit the overreach of the federal government. Together, Collier County leadership and the Southwest Florida Congressional Delegation have worked closely to resolve this for more than three years with letters, meetings, and conference calls with FEMA. I especially want to thank County Manager Leo E. Ochs, Jr., Deputy County Manager Nick Casalanguida, Coastal Zone Manager Gary McAlpin and their hard-working staff for their determination in settling this issue with a positive solution. I also want to recognize County Commission Chair Tim Nance for his continued involvement and engagement.
“As Floridians, we are fully aware of the vital role FEMA plays before, during, and after a natural disaster and I am pleased we were able to resolve this. The beaches of Collier County are important to the area’s tourism and economy, and protecting and restoring them for residents and visitors alike is something we must continue.
“I also want to commend my colleague, Congressman Curt Clawson, for quickly getting up to speed on this complex issue and for our collaborative approach to resolving problems for the residents of Southwest Florida.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in support of Steve Scalise as the next Majority Leader.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Steve Scalise on a number of complex issues, as well as part of the Whip Team. Steve works inclusively, knows how to get things done, and most importantly, is a man of his word. Steve has honorably and effectively served the House of Representatives as Majority Whip. I look forward to what he will be able to accomplish as Majority Leader.”
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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My staff will be holding office hours 3-5p @ Everglades City Hall, 102 Copeland Ave. if you need help with any federal issues.
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From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you to our troops for sacrificing so much to protect our freedom. https://t.co/yWrkxjcSHv
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My staff will be holding office hours near you this afternoon from 3-5p at Everglades City Hall, located at 102 Copeland Avenue if you need help
Miami International Airport - MIA: from Gateway to the Americas, to Gateway to the World. New airlines, more routes, and a big increase in trade. http://www.floridatrend.com/article/19213/miami-international-airport-americas-gateway-to-the-world
Today is Small Business Saturday. Support your local small businesses, the backbone of our community!
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for many things, including the privilege to represent our community in Congress. As
Did you know nearly 7 out of every 10 new jobs come from a small business? This Saturday, shop small. #smallbizsat