WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of S.612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.
“I am pleased the House passed this legislation that is vital to our water infrastructure. This bill includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, containing several provisions that positively impact our Southern Florida waterways and Everglades National Park. By investing in our nation’s ports, dams, and drinking water services, we are not only helping the local economy, but also the families across the country that rely on having easy access to safe drinking water. The legislation also focuses on reducing the backlog of projects the Army Corps of Engineers have, saving taxpayer dollars and allowing the most important and necessary projects to be prioritized.
“I congratulate Chairman Shuster on the passage of this bill, and I look forward to continue working with him to preserve Florida’s natural treasure for future generations.”
The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016 includes the following items that directly impact South Florida:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump nominated General John Kelly to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security in his administration.
"I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know General John Kelly while he was commander of SOUTHCOM. Now more than ever, we need someone at the helm of DHS who will ensure the United States is protected from any threats, whether domestic or foreign. General Kelly’s extraordinary knowledge, expertise, and leadership will be critical as he continues to serve our country in this new capacity, and I commend President-elect Trump for nominating him to serve as Homeland Security Secretary."
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump nominated Dr. Ben Carson to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
“I thank Dr. Ben Carson for his willingness to serve our country as HUD Secretary. He will bring an outsider’s perspective, helping to shake things up so the agency can better serve families across the United States. Dr. Carson has a true passion for helping people, and I look forward to working with him to improve the quality and efficiency of our housing programs.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 6303. Diaz-Balart successfully included a provision in the legislation to establish a dedicated ZIP Code for the Town of Miami Lakes.
“I am pleased that my provision to create a unique ZIP Code for Miami Lakes was included in this legislation. For years, Miami Lakes residents have dealt with many issues, ranging from higher insurance rates to election confusion, because the town does not have its own dedicated ZIP Code. Credit must be given to Mayor-elect Manny Cid, who made it a priority to resolve this for his constituency. After being turned away by the U.S. Postal Service several times, he reached out to me to see what could be done at the federal level, and I must say, it has been an absolute privilege working with Mayor-elect Cid. His dedication and perseverance on this issue is admirable, and I am glad that together we were able to get this important legislation passed in the House of Representatives.
“I'd like to thank Chairman Chaffetz for his leadership on this issue, and for the assistance his committee staff provided throughout this process.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill also included the legislative language of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.
“Today, the House voted to upgrade to our healthcare infrastructure, positively impacting Americans across the country. This bill expedites the research and development for drugs that treat rare diseases, encourages data sharing that will accelerate progress for treatments and cures, and authorizes funding for both Vice President Biden's Cancer Moonshot and CARA, a bill recently signed into law that combats our nation's harrowing opioid crisis. In order to fight diseases in the 21st century, we need to ensure healthcare providers have the proper resources. I'm pleased the bill also includes the legislative language of Congressman Tim Murphy's Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a bill I am a cosponsor of. By updating antiquated healthcare and mental health policies to better fit the needs of patients and their families, we can provide better care for those who are silently pleading for help.
“I congratulate Chairman Upton and Congressman Murphy on the passage of this bill, and I look forward to continue working with them to provide better healthcare solutions for our country.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump nominated former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to serve as Transportation Secretary in his administration.
"I commend President-elect Trump for selecting Elaine Chao to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. Elaine is a bright, capable woman, and her previous Cabinet experience will be helpful in this role. I look forward to working with her to improve our nation's infrastructure to best serve our country's needs."
MIAMI -- Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), and Carlos Curbelo (FL-27) released the following statement after the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
“The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western hemisphere. The message is now very clear to those who think they will continue to misrule Cuba through oppression and fear. Enough is enough. The Cuban people have been shortchanged for too long to continue down this reviled path.
Those who still rule Cuba with an iron grip may attempt to delay the island’s liberation, but they cannot stop it. Castro’s successors cannot hide and must not be allowed to hide beneath cosmetic changes that will only lengthen the malaise of the Cuban nation. No regime, no matter who leads it, will have a shred of legitimacy if it has not been chosen by the people of Cuba in free and fair elections.
Fidel’s apologists around the world can help to restore freedom and human rights for Cuba by joining the call for the new regime to free the hundreds of freedom fighters and pro-democracy activists still locked in Castro’s prisons.
Not until the gulags are closed, elections are held, political prisoners are freed and liberty is restored can the United States lawfully end its embargo against the communist regime in Havana. The time to act is now.
We must seize the moment and help write a new chapter in the history of Cuba; that of a Cuba that is free, democratic, and prosperous. A Cuba where faith in God has prevailed over tyranny, a Cuba whose people rose up to meet the challenges placed before them and overcame them through sheer patriotism and love of country.”
“Today, a tyrant is dead. Although his totalitarian dictatorship deeply scarred a once prosperous nation, his death ushers in a renewed hope that the Cuban people finally will be free. Now we must work even harder toward achieving liberty, basic rights, and free, multi-party elections for the Cuban people.
"The dictator has the blood of innocents on his hands, and his dictatorship is guilty of torture, murder and numerous other atrocities. As an evil dictator finally faces his Creator, the malevolent Castro dictatorship continues. Shamefully, President Obama has spent the past eight years attempting to cede important leverage to the ailing Castro regime. Despite President Obama's collaboration and betrayal of America's longstanding mission to promote freedom, the American people continue their strong solidarity with the Cuban people in their struggle for free elections, human rights, and liberty.”
"Cuban dictator Fidel Castro terrorized the people of Cuba for decades with religious and political persecution, oppression of free speech and free press, and disrespect for basic human rights. His passing marks the end of a long, horrifying chapter in Cuba's history.
"For the past 50-plus years Castro and his regime undermined American interests in Latin America and on our home-front. His anti-American policies and relationships with brutal regimes like Iran and North Korea have proved a significant threat to our national security time and time again. Policies that have not changed despite the Obama Administration's endless concessions to the regime over the past two years.
"Now more than ever, the people of Cuba need our solidarity. Our country and all of our democratic allies must demand political reforms that secure the human rights of all Cubans."
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after it was announced that Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week.
“Eduardo Padron has done an outstanding job as President of Miami Dade College. Under his leadership, the college has expanded to seven campuses around the county, serving over 165,000 students. Eduardo strives to serve Miami Dade College's largest student population; MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other higher education institution in the country. This recognition is an extraordinary testament to his legacy of service. I look forward to continue working with him to ensure South Florida students receive a world class education.”
MIAMI – Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) 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.
Sergeant Gary E. Cardenas – United States Army, Hialeah, Florida
Sergeant Miller Couse – United States Army, Clewiston, Florida
Colonel Rogelio Barbaro Figueroa – United States Air Force, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Master Sergeant Joshua Adam Hobson – United States Air Force, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Congressman Diaz-Balart with Congressional Veteran Commendation honorees from left to right: Master Sergeant Joshua Adam Hobson, Sergeant Miller Couse, and Sergeant Gary E. Cardenas. Not pictured: Colonel Rogelio Barbaro Figueroa
NAPLES – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the Army Corps of Engineers announced they have accredited parts of the Herbert Hoover Dike. Last summer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) implemented new flood zone maps that put Clewiston into a higher risk flood zone, resulting in higher flood insurance premiums. This week, Army Corps announced accreditation of sections of the Herbert Hoover Dike, which would positively impact Clewiston residents. Congressman Diaz-Balart has since sent a letter to FEMA requesting immediate revision of the maps.
“For the last year, I have worked tirelessly with Clewiston city leaders, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and industry stakeholders to bring fairness to homeowners and businesses in Clewiston. The current flood maps zoned Clewiston into a higher risk flood zone, crippling the community with much higher flood insurance premiums. In early 2015, I had implored FEMA to delay any change to the flood maps until ongoing rehabilitation projects at the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) were completed. I am grateful that after all of the hard work, the Army Corps has accredited parts of the HHD, and urge FEMA to update the current flood maps.
"I would like to thank Mayor Phillip Roland, City Manager Al Perry, City Engineer Tommy Perry, and the Clewiston City Commission, particularly, Commissioner Mali Gardner, for their efforts on this issue. I will continue to work with FEMA to ensure the changes, and therefore the new rates, take effect expeditiously,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart.
“We are appreciative of Congressman Diaz-Balart and his staff for their commitment to work on the town’s behalf after hearing our concerns regarding the new flood maps that we believed did not take into consideration the on-going levee work and the city’s infrastructure. The community will benefit from this collaborative effort and we look forward to working with the Congressman to see this process through,” said City of Clewiston Mayor Phillip Roland.
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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I love this interview of Waldo Diaz-Balart, the non-politician Diaz-Balart. A prolific artist. Celebrated Fidel's d… https://t.co/EI8TWM3agU
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I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know General John Kelly while he was commander of SOUTHCOM. Now more than ever, we need someone
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