WASHINGTON – Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Fred Upton (MI-6), Mike Coffman (CO-6), Dan Newhouse (WA-4), David Valadao (CA-21), Jeff Denham (CA-10), and Bob Dold (IL-10) released the following statement after the United States Supreme Court ruled 4-4 in the United States vs. Texas case.
“The Supreme Court has spoken, but today's decision does not resolve the issue. The American people expect Congress to work together to secure our borders, adhere to the rule of law, offer a humane solution to those living in the shadows, modernize our visa system, and bolster the economy. We are committed to fixing our broken immigration system once and for all.”
WASHINGTON - El Congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-25) hizo las siguientes declaraciones a raíz de informes de que el diputado venezolano Julio Borges, líder de la oposición en el partido Primero Justicia, fue agredido por chavistas armados con tubos y piedras.
"Cada día que pasa, el régimen de Maduro alcanza nuevos extremos en la opresión de la oposición democrática en Venezuela. Es imperdonable que los verdugos de Maduro hayan golpeado y ensangrentado a Julio Borges mientras cumplía con sus funciones oficiales. A medida de que la economía de Venezuela se desmorona debido a la corrupción e incompetencia de Maduro, la agresión y violencia contra la oposición va en aumento. La comunidad internacional debe condenar rotundamente las tácticas de violencia e intimidación que caracterizan al régimen de Maduro y comprometerse a trabajar con el pueblo venezolano para restaurar la democracia. "
WASHINGTON - Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after reports that Venezuelan Congressman Julio Borges, an opposition leader in the Primero Justicia party, was assaulted by Chavistas wielding pipes and stones.
"With each passing day, the Maduro regime is sinking to new lows in oppressing the opposition and subverting the suppressed remnants of democracy in Venezuela. Shamefully, Maduro's thugs beat and bloodied Julio Borges as he was attempting to carry out his official duties. As Venezuela's economy crumbles due to Maduro's corruption and mismanagement, these acts of aggression against the opposition are escalating. The international community must roundly condemn the violence and intimidation tactics that have come to characterize the Maduro regime and commit to working with the Venezuelan people to restore democracy.”
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans unveiled their foreign policy agenda. This agenda furthers America’s longstanding commitments to democracy and human rights in Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and other oppressed regions of the world.
"I wholeheartedly commend the Speaker and my House Republican colleagues for their dedication to promoting democracy, opposing tyranny, and strengthening relationships with our allies. House Republicans have firmly rejected President Obama's policy of appeasing dictators at the expense of the people they oppress, and we have presented a better way forward in protecting America's interests across the globe.
“I especially appreciate that Speaker Ryan vows to work toward ensuring that President Obama's policy of appeasement toward the Castro regime will not enrich the Cuban military -- the very oppressive institution responsible for brutal repression of the Cuban people and which perpetrates dangerous anti-American activities such as weapons smuggling, narco-trafficking, espionage, harboring fugitives, and the murder of innocent Americans. House Republicans also oppose the dangerous deal with Iran, which makes us and our allies less safe, while proposing ways to strengthen ties with those in the Middle East who share America's desire for peace.
“Through his plan, the House Republicans announce a profound commitment to those in Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere who are struggling to achieve fundamental liberties and human rights within the world's most oppressive environments. It also provides a way to enhance our national security by standing firm with our allies while refusing to appease or enrich our foes. With this U.S. foreign policy agenda, House Republicans demonstrate the strong, effective leadership that derives not from capitulations and weakness, but from purpose and principle. I stand ready to work with Speaker Ryan and the rest of our leadership team in realizing these foreign policy goals and protecting America's national security interests in the U.S. Congress.”
WASHINGTON - Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations (FL-25), released the following statement after the White House announced the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council was awarded the rural Promise Zone designation. As Chairman, Diaz-Balart advocated for SWFRPC’s bid to be designated as a Promise Zone, and wrote a letter to the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture in support of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council's application. Diaz-Balart also spoke with HUD Secretary Castro to discuss the group’s bid.
"I am pleased the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council was awarded this designation. Southwest Florida's low cost of living and young population provide opportunities for a growing economy, and the Promise Zone designation helps to bolster it. These communities have all the right factors - a strong agricultural industry, the geographic location for tourism, and ideal economic conditions that can attract and grow businesses. With the appropriate guidance from a federal liaison, these factors can be utilized to add to the region's continued growth, while making a positive impact on the economic situation of our neighbors in need. I am proud to have supported this initiative and I look forward to partnering with local leaders to ensure the region competes for federal funding opportunities that can improve and revitalize our community and those who need it most."
The Promise Zone is a joint effort of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture. In this effort, grantees are assigned a federal liaison to help navigate federal programs, given preferential consideration for certain federal grant programs, and receive technical assistance from numerous federal agencies. In addition, they will also receive five AmeriCorps volunteers, who assist with programming in critical need communities.
After speaking with HUD Secretary Castro, Chairman Diaz-Balart wrote a letter to HUD and the USDA in February 2016 in support of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council's bid to be designated as a Promise Zone.
Diaz-Balart Praises OAS Decision to Invoke Inter-American Democratic Charter
WASHINGTON - Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after Secretary General Luis Almagro of the Organization of American States called for an emergency meeting of regional governments to assess the deterioration of democracy in Venezuela:
“Finally, under the leadership of Secretary General Luis Almagro, the OAS is standing up to the escalating repression and ongoing human rights abuses in Venezuela.
OAS member states have a responsibility to work together to uphold the democratic principles that bind our nations together. The Maduro regime has systematically undermined democratic institutions, violated human rights, and cultivated corruption at all levels of government. The deteriorating conditions in Venezuela demand concerted and unequivocal consequences from Western Hemisphere nations that support the fundamental principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
At the Permanent Council meeting called by the Secretary General, I urge the Obama administration to abandon its predilection for appeasing dictators and stand with the people of Venezuela. At a minimum, all political prisoners in Venezuela must be liberated, the independence of the judiciary must be restored, the media must be uncensored, and the will of the people must be respected. The Venezuelan people deserve no less.”Read More
WASHINGTON - Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after reports that Cuban pro-democracy activist Berta Soler was arrested by the Castro regime on erroneous charges and is awaiting trial.
“According to reports, Berta Soler, the iconic leader of the Ladies in White, has been arrested and charged with bogus crimes, and stripped of her ability to travel.
“As Berta’s arrest demonstrates, President Obama’s policy of appeasement has emboldened the Castro regime to further oppress the Cuban people. For the first four months of 2016, there have been 5,351 political arrests in Cuba with 498 of those occurring during President Obama’s 2-day trip in March. The dictators know that President Obama is too wedded to his policy of weakness to let the realities of escalating repression, political arrests, and mounting human suffering affect his course. Shamefully, his policy is failing Cuba’s human rights and pro-democracy activists, and it is propelling record numbers of Cubans to attempt risky escapes. Meanwhile, the regime has allowed Russian ships to spy from its waters, engaged in weapons smuggling, harbored terrorists and fugitives from U.S. justice, and assisted the Maduro regime suppress dissent in Venezuela.
“Despite the regime’s egregious human rights record, President Obama will barrel ahead in encouraging businesses to directly enrich the very dictatorship that suppresses dissent, brutally beats activists, and engages in vicious acts of repudiation. While he unreservedly embraces a brutal regime, he is shockingly disengaged from the terrible consequences of his policy for the Cuban people.
“Berta Soler is a recipient of the EU’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. She bravely accepted the mantle of leadership of the Ladies in White after its previous leader, Laura Pollan, died at the hands of Castros’ thugs. She is often among the other Ladies in White who are beaten, threatened or insulted on their way to mass virtually every Sunday.
“I urge the President to end his damaging concessions to the Castro brothers, as Berta herself also has advocated, and require that the Castro regime respect basic human rights and liberties. Rather than sidling up to the ailing octogenarians that have oppressed the Cuban people for decades, President Obama should embrace the true leaders such as Berta Soler.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act.
“In order to properly combat Zika, we must get to the root of the problem and begin the extermination of the carrier mosquitos. Yet proper extermination is hindered by numerous and complicated regulations set in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. By removing these burdensome regulations imposed by the EPA, this bill is a step forward in the fight against the Zika virus. It is also crucial that the Senate begin consideration of this bill, as well as H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act of 2016, which was passed in the House last week.
“The House of Representatives, led by Speaker Ryan, have come up with commonsense solutions to fight Zika, yet constant veto threats coming from the White House show how President Obama is more interested in putting politics ahead of the safety and health of the American people.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after Congressman Curt Clawson (FL-19) announced he would not seek re-election this fall.
“Curt is a champion for the Caloosahatchee River and for the Everglades. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work closely with him on a number of issues important to Southwest Florida. He has become a personal, trusted friend. I will miss his insight and sense of humor in the halls of the Capitol. I wish him and his family the best.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act of 2016.
“I believe we need to provide and spend every dollar needed for Zika prevention, treatment, and response programs, and not one penny less. It is significant to note that the funds proposed in today’s bill - $622.1 million – are not the only funds immediately available for Zika response. Last month, after repeated requests from Congress, the Administration identified $590 million in existing unused Ebola funds and other funding to address immediate Zika needs. This will total almost $1.3 billion to combat Zika this fiscal year alone. If more funds are needed, Congress will do what is necessary to make sure additional funds are available. It is crucial the Obama administration and the Centers for Disease Control provide Congress with detailed information as to how they plan to spend these proposed funds. Congress has a responsibility to American taxpayers that their hard-earned dollars are spent efficiently and effectively, much unlike the fiasco with the ‘shovel-ready’ programs.
“I am grateful to Chairman Rogers for his leadership on this issue, and I am committed to continue working with him and my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to address Zika funding.”
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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Today, the Senate is voting on the #Zika conference report that passed the House. I implore my colleagues in the Senate to vote for funding
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Saddened to hear of baby that was born with #Zika related microcephaly – Tia and I have the mother, child, + family in our prayers
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I'm happy to help constituents like Mr. Gilfoy. Do you need assistance with a federal agency like the VA? Contact my offices in Southeast and
Doubled capacity for the Panama Canal (Canal de Panamá - La Ruta) means more imports/exports through Port of Miami. #transportation #SFL http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/06/26/panama-canal-opens-5b-locks-in-major-move-to-double-its-capacity/
As #Doral continues to expand, it's great to see more services like healthcare expanding in our community, too! #SFL http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article85566607.html
What a historic moment. Dr. Oscar Biscet finally received his 2007 Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush himself at George W. Bush Presidential
This morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled 4-4 in the United States vs. Texas Case. I issued the following statement with my colleagues,