WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced it would extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti.
“For almost a decade, the people of Haiti have suffered at the hands of Mother Nature. First wreaked by a destructive 2008 hurricane season, a catastrophic earthquake in 2010 killed hundreds of thousands of people and leveled many parts of the country. Countless Haitians living in the United States, including those in the 25th district, have benefited from Temporary Protected Status. I thank President Trump and DHS Secretary Kelly for this TPS extension and I support the people of Haiti as they continue to rebuild.”
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement ahead of Cuban Independence Day.
“More than a century ago, a courageous and determined people were inspired by heroes such as Jose Marti and won freedom for their island home just ninety miles from our shores.
“Regrettably, a few decades later, that noble effort was marred by a brutal regime that has oppressed the Cuban people and insulted the memories of those who sacrificed for its freedom. The devastation wreaked by the Castro regime can be found in its legacy of firing squads, gulags, torture, terrorism, subjugation, and widespread deprivation for the Cuban people.
“Some look toward the stepping down of one dictator as an evidence of change. But, as Jose Marti wisely said, ‘To change masters is not to be free.’ Without fair, multiparty elections, the rights to association, free expression, and religious belief, an independent media, and the liberation of all political prisoners, the Cuban people are not free. We cannot tolerate the swapping of one dictator for another.
“I am confident that the Cuban people once again will achieve their independence, as they did one hundred and fifteen years ago. Until then, we stand with those heroes of today who, in the vein of Marti, persist in the struggle for freedom. They are Berta Soler and the Ladies in White, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Yris Perez Aguilera, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, Rosa Maria Paya, Danilo Maldonado Machado ‘El Sexto,’ Antonio Rodiles, Jose Daniel Ferrer, Eduardo Cardet, and so many others. These heroes are recognized around the world for their strength and resilience. In the last month alone, I had the privilege of attending ceremonies honoring Dr. Biscet and the Ladies in White. They have endured countless sacrifices and assumed grave risks so that the Cuban people may be free.
“Today, as we mark Cuba’s independence from a foreign foe, we also honor the spirit of independence that continues within the Cuban people today. Together, we look forward to the day when the Cuban people celebrate their independence from the tyranny that has burdened them for nearly sixty years.”
WASHINGTON – El congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-25) emitió la siguiente declaración después de que el Departamento del Tesoro emitiera sanciones contra miembros del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia del régimen de Maduro en Venezuela.
"Hoy, el Presidente Trump impuso severas sanciones al Tribunal Supremo de Maduro en respuesta a la escalada de abusos y represión del régimen así como a los gravísimos atropellos a las instituciones democráticas de Venezuela, como la Asamblea Nacional. La decisión del Tribunal Supremo de destituir a la Asamblea Nacional electa de sus poderes fue una afrenta a la voluntad del pueblo venezolano, que tiene derecho a un gobierno representativo y a un poder judicial independiente. Estas sanciones, así como las palabras de la embajadora Nikki Haley ayer en las Naciones Unidas, son una fuerte condena a la devastación y tiranía del régimen de Maduro. Maduro encarcela a sus opositores políticos, censura a los medios de comunicación, corrompe las instituciones e instiga la violencia contra los manifestantes, y felicito al presidente Trump por tomar, una vez más, una posición firme a favor del pueblo venezolano".
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement after the Treasury Department issued sanctions against members of the Maduro regime’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice, sometimes referred to as the Supreme Court, in Venezuela.
“Today, President Trump imposed tough sanctions on the Maduro regime’s puppet Supreme Tribunal of Justice in response to escalating human rights abuses and repression, and the shameful assaults on Venezuela's democratic institutions such as the National Assembly. The Supreme Tribunal Court’s decision to strip the elected National Assembly of its powers was an affront to the will of the Venezuelan people, who are entitled to representative government and an independent judiciary. These sanctions, in addition to Ambassador Nikki Haley's words yesterday at the United Nations, are a strong condemnation of the devastation and tyranny wreaked by the Maduro regime. While Maduro imprisons political opponents, censors media, corrupts institutions, and instigates violence against protesters, I commend President Trump for once again taking a strong stand on behalf of the Venezuelan people.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) delivered the following opening statement during a House Appropriations hearing on emerging transportation technologies.
As prepared for delivery:
“Today we gather to discuss how new technologies are changing our transportation system. We will focus our time today on two specific technologies: unmanned aerial vehicles (or ‘U-A-Vs’ for short), and automated vehicles (also known as, ‘A-Vs’ or self-driving cars and trucks).
“These are exciting times! Both of these technologies will make freight and travel far more convenient and efficient. They will change how we live and work in ways that are, quite frankly, hard to imagine. Even more exciting is the potential for a much safer and more reliable transportation network.
“Last year, there were over 40,000 deaths from auto accidents and ninety percent of those were due to human error. By removing this human factor, automated vehicles could one day save tens of thousands of lives every year. It is difficult to fathom what an incredible achievement that would be.
“On the unmanned aircraft side, it appears that the future is already with us. The promise of drone technology is already beginning to transform our day-to-day lives. Together we need to figure out how to support innovation in our skies, while maintaining the world-class safety record of our airspace.
“To realize the benefits of these technologies, we must strike a balance between promoting private innovation and protecting public interest. These disruptive technologies offer a world of new possibilities, but the safety of the American people must come first.
“All levels of government will play some role in safeguarding the public as these technologies come to market. And there is no doubt that the agencies funded by this Subcommittee will play very active roles in the research and regulation of both UAVs and AVs. In addition to understanding how these technologies will change the transportation market place, we must also understand the appropriate role for government.
“To help us explore where we are now as well as where we are heading, Ranking Member Price and I welcome four technology experts from both industry and academia. I am pleased to introduce:
“I want to thank each of you for joining us this morning and I look forward to your testimony.”
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) recognized Mater Academy Charter High School sophomore Sabrina Valdes for her winning piece in the 25th congressional district’s 2017 Congressional Art Competition. Her piece, titled “Abandonment,” was chosen out of 89 entries submitted from 16 participating schools. Sabrina’s piece will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. A viewing reception for the submitted artwork was held on Tuesday, May 9th at Mary Collins Community Center in Miami Lakes, Florida.
(L): Sabrina’s winning piece, “Abandonment” was done in acrylic paint. (R) Congressman Diaz-Balart addresses 2017 Congressional Art Competition participants and their families at the viewing reception.
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 as a way to recognize and encourage the artistic talent of the country’s youth. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have participated nationwide. Each spring a winner is selected from each Congressional District in the U.S.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of the American Health Care Act.
“Whether we like it or not, Obamacare is collapsing and on its way out. Already, in two of the three counties I represent, the Affordable Care Act only offers one provider, with no choice or competition for consumers. In 2016, Miami-Dade County had six providers and next year, will drop to three providers. Collier and Hendry Counties are worse off; they, like forty-five other Florida counties, are left with just one provider. Knowing the people I represent could very well lose their coverage, just like Iowa residents did yesterday when their state marketplace collapsed, is disturbing. It would be irresponsible for Congress not to act in order to prevent this from happening.
“While this bill may be far from perfect, I am glad I was able to work with my colleagues to get significant improvements to the American Health Care Act, including:
“I will work with our colleagues in the Senate as they consider the legislation. I will also continue working with HHS Secretary Price and members of the administration to provide relief from the disastrous effects of Obamacare and ensure the AHCA truly serves the needs of my constituents and the American people.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement after the passage of H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017.
“Today, I voted for legislation that supports our military, enhances our nation’s infrastructure, and keeps our country running. As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I am proud this bill maintains the critical infrastructure, technologies, and housing opportunities that make a positive difference in the day-to-day lives of our constituents. At a time where our national security is at stake, it strengthens our military with robust resources to defend our country, at home and abroad. It also provides funding to prepare for emerging health threats, to ensure that we are ready to prevent, treat, and respond to any disease outbreaks as we did last summer with the Zika virus.
“I commend Speaker Ryan and Chairman Frelinghuysen for their effort and leadership in negotiating this significant legislation, and look forward to beginning the FY18 appropriations process in regular order.”
Congressman Diaz-Balart, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, was successful in including the following items in the appropriations omnibus:
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) announced she would retire at the end of her term.
"Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is one of the most respected and admired Members of Congress. For almost four decades, Ileana has served our community with honor and integrity. From her days as an educator, to the Florida Legislature, and now ending her tenure in Congress, Ileana truly exemplifies what it means to be a public servant. She never seeks political expediency and always puts the interests of her constituents first. From one corner of the globe to another, she is tireless in her crusade for human rights and democracy.
"To say Ileana is a trusted friend and mentor to me is an understatement; she is a part of my family, and I will dearly miss 'mi hermana legislativa' in the halls of Congress. I wish nothing but the best for Ileana, her husband Dexter, their children, and their grandchildren as she begins this next chapter in her life."
NAPLES - Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Francis Rooney (FL-19) released the following statement after the Trump administration approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant to the State of Florida, allowing the use of federal funds to reimburse response costs to fight a rapidly spreading wildfire in Collier County.
"We are grateful to President Trump for recognizing the need for federal funding to fight these fires. Our firefighters and first responders are bravely on the front lines, and federal assistance to support them is critical. We will continue to support Governor Scott, the County Commission, and other local officials in any way we are able to.
"We are extremely proud of our firefighters and first responders, and are confident in their capabilities to control this blaze."
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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Praying for the victims, first responders, and their families in Manchester tonight. https://t.co/s5061zQBH7
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20 de Mayo...Viva la Republica de Cuba, libre, independiente y soberana. Cuba sera libre!!
For almost a decade, the people of Haiti have suffered at the hands of Mother Nature. First wreaked by a destructive 2008 hurricane season, a
Team MDB was honored to attend this weekend's Honor Flight ceremony at Miami International Airport. What a great tribute to our heroes!
More than a century ago, a courageous and determined people were inspired by heroes such as Jose Marti and won freedom for their island home
Met with members of the Federal Aviation Administration Managers Association to discuss FAA reauthorization and ways to maintain the safety,
Today, President Trump imposed tough sanctions on the Maduro regime’s puppet Supreme Tribunal of Justice in response to escalating human rights