Ros-Lehtinen Bill Reauthorizing U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act Passes Foreign Affairs Committee
“At a time when the U.S. needs Jordan’s support and influence in the Middle East more than ever, my bill aims to shore up our ally’s military capacity to ensure a stable and secure Jordan that is capable of advancing our mutual priorities and interests”
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement today after the House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted unanimously to favorably report her bill, H.R. 2646, the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act, to the whole House. The bill extends authorities first authored by Ros-Lehtinen in 2015, and includes support for a new and enhanced Memorandum of Understanding with Jordan and reauthorizes the establishment of an enterprise fund. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“On the front lines in the fight against terror and other regional crises, Jordan is one of our closest and most important partners in the Middle East. A key contributor to the anti-ISIS coalition, Jordan has also taken in over one million refugees from Syria and other neighboring countries, putting a significant strain on the kingdom’s economy, public services, infrastructure, and social cohesion. At a time when the U.S. needs Jordan’s support and influence in the Middle East more than ever, my bill aims to shore up our ally’s military capacity to ensure a stable and secure Jordan that is capable of advancing our mutual priorities and interests.”
Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Poe Introduce Bill Imposing Sanctions Against Iran for its Destabilizing Activity in Yemen, Violations of UN Security Council Resolutions
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, introduced H.R. 4603 – the Houthis and Iran Sanctions Accountability Act of 2017. The bill codifies Executive Order 13611, issued on May 16, 2012, by President Obama, declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat on Yemen’s peace, security and stability. The bill targets Iran’s support for the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, as well as those who the President determines knowingly provides significant financial, material, or technological support to those who are in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216. Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Poe were joined in introducing the bill by Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Dan Donovan (R-NY).
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Iran’s increasing support for the Houthi rebels has cast an even greater doubt over the possibility of a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. We know that the IRGC has transferred increasingly sophisticated weapons systems to the Houthis, which have been used against Saudi Arabia and even American naval vessels. And now with Hezbollah playing an increasing role in Yemen, we very likely could see this conflict mirror the one in Syria, with disastrous consequences for the region and for U.S. national security interests. That is why it is important that the U.S. hold Iran accountable for its repeated violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and for its increasing support for the Houthi rebels.”
Statement by Poe:
“The chaos that Yemen has devolved into is yet another example of Iran’s destructive influence in the Middle East,” said Rep. Poe. “The Houthi rebels are financially, militarily, and logistically supported by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – the same nefarious arm of the Iranian regime that has long been fueling the fire of sectarian and civil discord throughout the region. The Iranians need to be held accountable for the mess and war they are perpetuating in Yemen. This bill will send a clear message to Tehran to stop their activities or pay the price. And that’s just the way it is.”Read More
ROS-LEHTINEN, ENGEL LAUD HOUSE PASSAGE OF VENEZUELA HUMANITARIAN AID BILL
WASHINGTON—Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the Chair Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and today praised passage in the House of Representatives of their legislation to support the Venezuelan people. The Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act of 2017 (H.R.2658) mandates a strategy from the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people and strengthens the current approach to Venezuela at the United Nations. The bill also aims to combat widespread corruption among government officials in Venezuela. Similar legislation was authored in the Senate by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The Maduro regime has squandered the abundant natural resources of Venezuela and has brought the nation to the brink of disaster. Venezuelans suffer from malnutrition and lack food, medicines and even the basic necessities of life, all while Maduro and his cronies fill their own coffers, continue to erase the last vestiges of democracy in Venezuela, and ignore the suffering of the people. That is why I joined Eliot in introducing this bill - to seek a comprehensive plan that could provide humanitarian assistance and much-needed food and medical supplies to the countless who continue to suffer under Maduro - and I urge our partners in the Senate to follow suit and get this much needed bill to the President's desk."
Statement by Engel:
“President Maduro is running Venezuela to the ground, and while many Venezuelans starve, some of the military brass are making money hand over fist by selling the country’s scarce supplies on the black market. By passing this legislation, we can attempt to provide the Venezuelan people with the resources that they so desperately need,” said Rep. Engel. “But the United States cannot do this alone. Sustained leadership is needed to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela—from the U.N. Secretary General, members of the Security Council, the OAS, and other international partners. I urge my Senate colleagues to immediately pass this bill, so that it can get to the President’s desk before the end of the year.”Read More
Ros-Lehtinen Announces Congressional App Challenge Winners
“The quality of the entries, ability in programming, creative leadership and technical skills revealed by our students demonstrates that South Florida’s innovative spirit can help us be a global leader in technology.”
Miami, Florida – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced the winner and runners up of the Congressional App Challenge for Florida’s 27th Congressional District. The App challenge, which focuses on education in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, is designed to promote the development of apps and help spur creativity among high school students in South Florida and throughout the nation. This year, Ros-Lehtinen, along with Rep. Tim Ryan (D – OH), is the co-chair of the Congressional App Challenge. The winners and runners-up are:
· District winners: Gaetan Almela & Kristian Zedan, ChromaTilt which is designed to help those with color blindness
· Second place: Matthew Garcia, Ryan Costa & Daniel Fleites-Cruz, Emergency Disaster Guide
· Third place: Julian Meunier, Coma Survive
· Honorable mentions:
o Rafael Fernandes, Phoenix Escape
o David Krajewski, Lilly Enekes & Jacob Kantor, Allergy Ally
o Karen Liberman, Secure Me
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“I’m always so impressed by the apps these talented high school students submit that can improve the lives of others. The quality of the entries, ability in programming, creative leadership and technical skills revealed by our students demonstrates that South Florida’s innovative spirit can help us be a global leader in technology. I’m excited to see what the future holds for these students and their entrepreneurial spirit.”
Reps. Ros-Lehtinen, Deutch Joint Statement on Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
(Washington) – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) and Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, issued this joint statement following President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:
“The President’s decision today is a recognition of existing U.S. law that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the U.S. embassy should ultimately be located in the capital. There is no debate that the Jewish people have a deep-rooted religious, cultural and historic tie to Jerusalem, and today’s decision reaffirms that connection. The fact is that Jerusalem – an ancient and holy city to all three monotheistic faiths – will remain the capital of the Jewish state in any iteration of a negotiated two-state solution. Today’s decision does not preclude our shared goal of two states for two peoples to be negotiated between the parties themselves. Now is the time for urgent progress towards the President’s stated objective of achieving a real and lasting peace.”
Ros-Lehtinen and Sires Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter to the President Urging Invocation of Global Magnitsky Law in Support of the Nicaraguan People
Cosigners include: Senators Marco Rubio, Robert Menendez, Ted Cruz, Bill Nelson, and Reps. Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Paul Cook, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Albio Sires (D-NJ) were joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), in sending a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the President urging the administration to use the authority provided by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to hold individuals in Nicaragua accountable for deep rooted corruption and human rights violations. The letter expresses concern regarding the actions of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) and the Venezuelan PDVSA subsidiary in Nicaragua, ALBANISA, and calls for the Department of State and Department of Treasury to take immediate action to determine whether Roberto Rivas, CSE’s President, and Francisco Lopez, Vice-President of ALBANISA, meet the law’s criteria to be sanctioned. To read a copy of the letter, please click here.
Joint Statement By Ros-Lehtinen and Sires:
“Global Magnistky determinations may have already been decided by the Administration, nevertheless, given the number of well-documented reports that implicate Rivas and Lopez in a wide array of human rights violations and corrupt activities, we urge State and Treasury to take immediate action to determine if these two individuals meet the criteria to be sanctioned under the Global Magnistky Act.
“Rivas has overseen several elections marred by irregularities, depriving the Nicaraguan people of democratic elections in what represent gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Lopez is likely directly responsible for, or complicit in, ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, acts of significant corruption through ALBANISA – a subsidiary of Venezuela’s PDVSA. This bicameral and bipartisan letter demonstrates Congress’ willingness to work with the Administration in order to prioritize and further promote the cause of human rights and democracy in Nicaragua.”Read More
Ros-Lehtinen y Sires encabezan Carta Bipartidista y Bicameral Instando al Presidente a Invocar la Ley Global Magnitsky en Apoyo del Pueblo Nicaragüense
Cosignatorios incluyen: Senadores Marco Rubio, Robert Menendez, Ted Cruz, Bill Nelson, y Representantes Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Paul Cook y Debbie Wasserman Schultz
(Washington, DC) – A los Congresistas Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) y Albio Sires (D-NJ), se les unieron los Senadores Marco Rubio (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Nelson (D-FL), y los Congresistas Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Paul Cook (R-CA), y Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), para enviar una carta bipartidista y bicameral instando al Presidente a que su administración utilice la autoridad provista por la Ley Global Magnistky de Responsabilidad de Derechos Humanos para responsabilizar a los individuos involucrados en la corrupción arraigada y a abusos de derechos humanos en Nicaragua. La carta expresa preocupación por las acciones por parte del Consejo Supremo Electoral (CSE) y la filial venezolana de PDVSA en Nicaragua, ALBANISA, e insta al Departamento de Estado y al Departamento del Tesoro que tomen medidas inmediatas para determinar si Roberto Rivas, presidente del CSE, y Francisco López, Vicepresidente de ALBANISA, cumplen con los criterios de ley para ser sancionados. Para leer una copia de la carta, por favor haga clic aquí.
Declaración unida por Ros-Lehtinen y Sires:
“La Administración puede ya haber decidido sobre las designaciones bajo Global Magnistky, sin embargo, dado el número de informes bien documentados que implican a Rivas y a López en una amplia gama de violaciones de derechos humanos y actividades corruptas, instamos a los Departamentos de Estado y Tesoro a tomar medidas inmediatas para determinar si estos dos individuos cumplen con los criterios para ser sancionados bajo la ley Global Magnistky.
“Rivas ha supervisado varias elecciones marcadas por irregularidades, privando al pueblo nicaragüense de elecciones democráticas en lo que representa violaciones flagrantes de los derechos humanos reconocidos internacionalmente. Es probable que López sea directamente responsable de, o sea cómplice en ordenar, controlar o dirigir actos de corrupción significantes a través de ALBANISA, una subsidiaria de PDVSA de Venezuela. Esta carta bicameral y bipartidista demuestra la voluntad del Congreso de trabajar con la Administración para priorizar y promover aún más la causa de los derechos humanos y la democracia en Nicaragua.”Read More
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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