Ros-Lehtinen, Bipartisan Task Force Applaud Passage of Resolution Condemning Tree of Life Attack
Washington, DC – Members of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combatting Anti-Semitism applauded the passage of H.Res.1138, a House resolution introduced by the Task Force Co-Chairs and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), to condemn the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building on October 27, 2018.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is a founding Member of the Task Force. Other Members include: Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Peter Roskam (R-IL).
The Task Force issued the following statement upon passage of the resolution:
“We are glad to see this resolution pass the House unanimously, which reaffirms the House’s commitment to fighting anti-Semitism in all its forms here at home and around the world. Just yesterday, the FBI released its 2017 hate crime statistics, showing a 37 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. from 2016. We will carry the memory of those lost in the Tree of Life synagogue building attack, the deadliest anti-Semitic incident in U.S. history, and work to ensure that all Americans are free to worship in peace and security.”
Washington, DC – Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Peter Roskam (R-IL), the Co-Chairs of the House of Representatives Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, joined Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) in introducing a resolution Tuesday to condemn the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building on October 27, 2018. The Task Force issued the following statement upon introducing the resolution:
“We are proud to join Representative Doyle in introducing this resolution, which condemns the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building; honors the victims, the injured, and their families; applauds law enforcement and first responders; and reaffirms US commitment to defeating anti-Semitism in all its forms. This heinous attack, which took the lives of 11 innocent people, simply because they were Jewish, was a horrible reminder that this age-old bigotry is alive in the 21st century. We hope our colleagues will join us in swiftly passing this resolution and standing in solidarity with Jewish communities around the world.”
Ros-Lehtinen Congratulates Congresswoman-Elect Donna Shalala
“As this season comes to an end in my life, I am confident that Donna Shalala will be a remarkable leader for our community.”
Miami, FL - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued the following statement congratulating Congresswoman-elect Donna Shalala who will succeed her in representing Florida’s 27 Congressional district.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“I have been humbled to serve our South Florida community and honored to be its voice in Congress for nearly three decades. As this season ends, a new one begins. It is now my honor to congratulate Donna Shalala as Congresswoman-elect of Florida’s 27th Congressional district. Donna is committed to public service and her many contributions to our South Florida community will serve her well as she represents this diverse district in the halls of Congress. Our beautiful South Florida community merits a leader who represents it to the best of her ability, and I am confident that Donna will do so with unequivocal certainty. This is democracy at its best. In my native homeland of Cuba there are no freedoms. Our country gave my family a chance, and we are all blessed to live in a country where we can be active participants in our democratic process. It has been one of the greatest honors of my professional life representing each and every person in our South Florida community. As this season comes to an end in my life, I am confident that Donna Shalala will be an unwavering leader for our community. I am proud to welcome and congratulate Congresswoman-elect Donna Shalala.”
“Es con mucha humildad que he servido a nuestra comunidad del Sur de la Florida y me siento honrada de ser su voz en el Congreso durante casi tres décadas. A medida que termina esta temporada, comienza una nueva. Ahora tengo el honor de felicitar a Donna Shalala como Congresista electa del 27 ° distrito del Congreso de la Florida. Donna está comprometida con el servicio público y sus muchas contribuciones a nuestra comunidad del Sur de la Florida le servirán bien ya que representara a este distrito diverso en los pasillos del Congreso. Nuestra hermosa comunidad del Sur de la Florida merece un líder que la represente lo mejor de sus habilidades, y estoy segura de que Donna lo hará con una certeza inequívoca. Esto es lo mejor de la democracia. En mi tierra natal de Cuba no hay libertades. Nuestro país le dio una oportunidad a mi familia, y todos estamos bendecidos de vivir en un país donde podemos ser participantes activos en nuestro proceso democrático. Ha sido uno de los mayores honores de mi vida profesional representar a cada persona en nuestra comunidad del Sur de la Florida. A medida que esta temporada llega a su fin en mi vida, confío en que Donna Shalala será una líder inquebrantable para nuestra comunidad. Me enorgullece dar la bienvenida y felicitar a la congresista electa Donna Shalala."
ROS-LEHTINEN, FLORIDA COLLEAGUES REQUEST FOCUS ON MUTUALLY-ADVANTAGEOUS STEEL AND ALUMINUM EXEMPTION NEGOTIATIONS FOR COLOMBIA
Miami, FL – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross requesting the administration expedite negotiations of additional steel and aluminum exemption agreements with U.S. allies and partners, including Colombia, to isolate the People’s Republic of China, and other bad actors. Further, the Florida legislators ask that the administration “ensure continued progress by the Duque Administration in meeting the important trade commitments made earlier this year by the previous [Colombian] administration.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Ross:
We support your efforts to combat the long standing problem of steel and aluminum overcapacity, which has been exacerbated by Chinese overproduction, and we agree that extraordinary measures should be considered to force the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to adhere to the international, rules-based trading system created after World War II. We appreciate your successful efforts to negotiate steel and aluminum quotas for imports from Brazil and Argentina. Therefore, we respectfully request that you expedite negotiations of additional exemption agreements with our allies and partners, both in South America and around the world, to isolate the PRC and other bad actors to fully address this global problem.
Negotiations with Colombia should be a priority. Under outgoing President Santos, Colombia pledged to cooperate on addressing a variety of deficiencies in the treatment of certain U.S. industries to strengthen the U.S.-Colombia relationship. It is essential that our government continue to work with President Iván Duque and his administration to ensure Colombian commitments are upheld. Efforts to secure mutually-beneficial trade in steel and aluminum can provide a new opportunity to facilitate and secure U.S. trade goals with our vital Colombian partners. As such, we urge you to engage in negotiations with the Colombian government on country exemptions related to steel and aluminum that include effective and enforceable controls on transshipments, and that ensure continued progress by the Duque Administration in meeting the important trade commitments made earlier this year by the previous administration.
As the PRC continues to increase its influence in the region, the United States must fortify our strategic diplomatic, military, and economic relationships throughout the world, but especially in the Western Hemisphere. Once again, we appreciate your efforts to correct global overcapacity of steel and aluminum and shore up domestic manufacturing, and we stand ready to assist you in your efforts to revitalize trading relationships with our allies to strengthen our nation’s standing both at home and abroad.
ROS-LEHTINEN Y COLEGAS DE LA FLORIDA SOLICITAN ENFOQUE EN NEGOCIACIONES MUTUAMENTE BENEFICIOSAS EN LA EXENCIÓN DE ALUMINIO Y ACERO PARA COLOMBIA
Miami, FL - Ayer, el senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) y los representantes estadounidenses Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) y Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) enviaron una carta al Representante de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, Robert Lighthizer, y al Secretario de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, Wilbur Ross, solicitándoles que la administración agilice las negociaciones en la exención de acero y aluminio con aliados y socios de EE. UU., incluyendo Colombia, para así aislar a La República Popular China y a otros actores perjudiciales. Adicionalmente, los legisladores de la Florida piden que la administración "asegure el continuo progreso por parte de la administración del Presidente Duque en el cumplimiento de los importantes compromisos comerciales asumidos a principios de este año por la administración [colombiana] anterior".
For Immediate Release
HFAC Dem Press Office 202-226-9103
Reimy Benitez (Ros-Lehtinen) 202-225-8200
ENGEL & ROS-LEHTINEN TO ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT: HAND OVER JULIAN ASSANGE TO PROPER AUTHORITIES
Bipartisan Letter Praises President Moreno’s Reform Agenda and Calls for End to Assange Impasse
WASHINGTON—Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair Emeritus of the Committee, today called on Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to ensure that Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and handed over to the proper authorities. The bipartisan letter to President Moreno follows the recent news that Mr. Assange’s Internet access at the embassy has been restored.
“Many of us in the United States Congress are eager to move forward in collaborating with your government on a wide array of issues, from economic cooperation to counternarcotics assistance to the possible return of a United States Agency for International Development mission to Ecuador. However, in order to advance on these crucial matters, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange,” the members wrote in their letter.
Full text of the letter follows, and an image of the signed letter can be found here:
Dear President Moreno:
We write today to acknowledge the significant progress your administration has made since you took office. Many of us in the United States Congress are eager to move forward in collaborating with your government on a wide array of issues, from economic cooperation to counternarcotics assistance to the possible return of a United States Agency for International Development mission to Ecuador. However, in order to advance on these crucial matters, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange.
We are very concerned with Julian Assange’s continued presence at your embassy in London and his receipt of Ecuadorian citizenship last year. Most recently, we were particularly disturbed to learn that your government restored Mr. Assange’s access to the Internet. On numerous occasions, Mr. Assange has compromised the national security of the United States. He has done so by publicly releasing classified government documents along with confidential materials from individuals connected to our country’s 2016 presidential election. As you yourself have noted, he has repeatedly used his standing in the international media to meddle in the affairs of foreign governments such as Spain and the United Kingdom. This has frayed Ecuador’s relations with like-minded governments. Mr. Assange also remains wanted by British authorities for a bail violation. It is clear that Mr. Assange remains a dangerous criminal and a threat to global security, and he should be brought to justice.
We fully recognize that this is a problem that your administration did not create. We are hopeful about developing warmer relations with your government, but feel that it will be very difficult for the United States to advance our bilateral relationship until Mr. Assange is handed over to the proper authorities.
Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.
Eliot L. Engel
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Cancer Patients Now Able to Defer Student Loans While Receiving Active Treatment
Legislation included in FY19 Appropriations Package Signed into Law
Washington, D.C. — Today the Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act - introduced by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) - was signed into law, providing desperately-needed financial peace of mind for patients battling cancer.
Currently, individuals are allowed to defer student loan payments for various qualifying reasons such as going back to school, joining the armed services, or looking for a job, but cancer treatment has not yet been qualified for deferment. The legislation enables individuals who are diagnosed with cancer to defer payments on public student loans while actively receiving lifesaving treatment without interest accruing during the deferment period. Estimates show more than 70,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year.
“This will provide significant financial relief for individuals undergoing cancer treatment, and should have been done a long time ago,” said Perlmutter. “I appreciate the work of Rep. Ros-Lehtinen and the advocacy of Critical Mass and others to ensure this was signed into law.”
“The hardships the families impacted by cancer face are only exacerbated by the financial stresses of having to meet student loan payments. This bill gives those actively undergoing live saving cancer treatment the peace of mind of not having to think about whether or not they can afford their federal student loan payments. The option to defer without accruing interest will allow patients to focus on what is important, their health,” said Ros-Lehtinen.
"Young adults are fighting for their lives within a broken cancer care system that ignores their unique needs and isolates them in treatment settings designed for young children or seniors,” said Kate Yglesias Houghton, President & CEO of Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance. “Every American no matter their age deserves the same opportunity to survive and thrive after a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Ros-Lehtinen and Perlmutter we have finally broken through and are working with policymakers to remove the unique barriers - like student loans - faced by young adults after a cancer diagnosis. I look forward to continuing this work with our champions in Congress.”
The text of H.R. 2976 was included in the bipartisan fiscal year 2019 Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
Ros-Lehtinen’s Bi-Partisan Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act Passes Senate Foreign Relations Committee
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act which seeks to condition U.S. approval for loans to the Ortega regime from international financial institutions. Ros-Lehtinen is the author of the House version of the NICA Act, H.R. 1918, alongside Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and which the House of Representatives passed by voice vote on October 3, 2017. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), David Perdue (R-GA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a similar bill on December 22, 2017.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“I am very pleased that the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has taken decisive action to pass my NICA Act and the sanctions proposed by my colleague Bob. As I’ve said before, the United States will not stand idly-by as Ortega continues to intensify the repression, incarcerating and killing innocent people every day. Since this crisis began five months ago, the State Department has canceled visas for dozens of the regime’s associates, and the Treasury Department has also imposed strong sanctions against several officials in Ortega’s inner circle. However, my work and the work of those who love freedom and democracy does not end here.
We must continue working together to ensure that these two bills are not only signed into law, but are implemented quickly and effectively. It is important to continue pressuring the Administration to sanction more individuals, including the Ortega Murillos, under the Global Magnitsky Act. We must also remain vigilant of efforts by Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, China and Iran that continue to help Ortega with military equipment, surveillance, and other technology support, to oppress the people and keep Ortega in power. The United States will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any nation or person that commits these heinous acts.”
NOTE: Senator Menendez’s S. 3233, the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anticorruption Act of 2018, which seeks to impose additional sanctions on Nicaraguan regime officials, was merged with the NICA Act which will now be sent back to the House. Ros-Lehtinen introduced the House companion to the Menendez bill, H.R. 6683, on August 28, 2018.
Ros-Lehtinen re-introduced the NICA Act on April 5, 2017. The NICA Act was passed unanimously in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 27, 2017 and passed the Western Hemisphere subcommittee on May 24, 2017.
Last Congress, on September 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representative approved a similar version of the legislation by unanimous consent. The NICA Act aims to put conditions on Nicaragua similar to what Congress has already enacted into law regarding Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador (P.L. 114-113).
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2206 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
I am proud to represent Florida’s 27th Congressional District, a diverse area which includes Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Little Havana, Miami, Pinecrest, South Miami, and Westchester.
I was born in Havana, Cuba on July 1952. At the age of eight, my family and I were forced to flee from the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro. We settled in Miami and put down permanent roots in our community. I attended Southside Elementary School in Little Havana, West Miami Junior High, and Southwest High School. In the years following, I earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College in 1972, Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Florida International University in 1975 and 1985 respectively, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Miami in 2004. I consider education a lifelong journey.
I began my career as a Florida certified teacher. I also founded and served as the principal and teacher of a private bilingual elementary school in Hialeah. I was inspired to enter public service by many of the parents and students; to fight on their behalf for a stronger educational system, lower taxes, and a brighter economic future.
In 1982 I was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives and the Florida Senate in 1986, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in either body. In the state legislature I authored the Florida Prepaid College Plan, which is now the largest pre paid college tuition program in the nation. More than one million Florida families have used this program to send their children to college.
I was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989– the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress–following a special election to fill the seat held by the late Claude Pepper. I have been strongly returned to Congress since, winning 60% of the vote in 2012.
To this day, I remain committed to improving the lives of my constituents and our beautiful South Florida community. As the economy remains a pressing issue, I support reducing taxes and cutting back unnecessary government spending. I also support plans to balance the federal budget and increase tax incentives for small businesses and middle class families. South Florida has also felt the devastating effects of the housing crisis. I have fought to end predatory lending practices by mortgage companies and extend the first time homebuyers tax credit.
Given my background in education, I have worked to strengthen the Head Start program. I have also supported legislation to increase the availability to student financial aid and revise the cumbersome and complicated Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) process.
I am a strong advocate of programs that address the serious problem of domestic violence against women. I was a lead sponsor of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which increases resources towards the prosecution of domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault. I also support legislation to increase criminal penalties for perpetrators of Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud is a deplorable practice which robs hardworking seniors of the benefits they spent a lifetime earning, while also wasting billions in taxpayer dollars.
As the wife of a Vietnam veteran and step-mother to Marine aviators, I am passionate about improving our nation’s military, safeguarding veteran’s health care, and ensuring that returning veterans have access to a college education. I have been an outspoken critic of the Miami VA’s recent failures to notify veterans who were at risk of infection, due to contaminated colonoscopy equipment. I also authored legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). These women pioneers had been denied recognition for their service during World War II.
I am Chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and am now Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. In this role, I continue to voice my strong support for the state of Israel and human rights, including my opposition to Castro’s dictatorial regime in Cuba. I have also led on pressing foreign policy issues including the fight against Islamist extremism, and support of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
I also serve as a member of the House Committee on Rules. This Committee decides what legislation makes it to the House floor and its members are chosen by the Speaker of the House. My priorities as a member of this Committee is to get our nation’s economy back on track and ensure passage of legislation that betters the state of our nation.
I am the proud wife to Dexter Lehtinen, mother and step-mother to 4 adult children, and grandmother to two beautiful baby girls – Morgan Elizabeth and Caroline Grace.
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