Mario Diaz-Balart

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Diaz-Balart: SFOPS Appropriations Keeps U.S. National Security Interests at Forefront, Supports Allies

2017/07/20

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the State and Foreign Operations bill for fiscal year 2018.

“The United States and its allies must be well prepared during times of global instability, like the one we currently face. Our country must assert its dominance in the global arena, keeping our national security interests at the forefront. Supporting strategic allies, including Israel, Jordan, and Georgia, is critical to regional stability. This legislation also provides for the fight against ISIS and other terror groups who encroach on our freedom and American values. At the same time, fighting the war on drugs and curtailing human trafficking will help create stability in Central America and elsewhere. The legislation also creates strict metrics to ensure that Colombia begins to slow down its coca production. Also, by providing funds to democracy programming in Cuba and Venezuela, we are helping the oppressed people of these nations realize their democratic aspirations. This bill goes a long way in supporting our allies, and standing up to our enemies, and I congratulate Subcommittee Chairman Rogers on the committee approval of this legislation.

“Once again, we are moving all twelve bills through regular order, and because of Chairman Frelinghuysen’s leadership, we were able to accomplish this within a month’s time. I especially want to applaud his efforts throughout the entire appropriations process.”

Highlights from the legislation include:

  • $3.1 billion for security assistance to Israel
  • $6 billion to fight HIV/AIDS around the globe
  • $336 million for assistance to Colombia, including economic support funds, international narcotics control and law enforcement dollars, and foreign military financing
  • $358 million to assist in the fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups
  • $30 million for Cuba democracy programming
  • $8 million for Venezuela democracy programming
  • Increased funding for our strategic allies, including Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia
  • $28 million for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting
  • $105 million for the Countering Russian Influence Fund
  • $615 million for United States strategy for engagement in Central America
  • $334 million for the Central America Regional Security Initiative

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Diaz-Balart and Rooney: Interior Appropriations Protects Everglades for Future Generations

2017/07/19

WASHINGTON – Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Francis Rooney (FL-19) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill for fiscal year 2018. These funds are in addition to $76.5 million for Everglades restoration and $82 million for the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike that were included in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018.

“As Floridians, we are lucky to have natural treasures like Everglades National Park right in our backyards. I am the proud Founder and Co-Chair of the Everglades Caucus, and fighting for the Everglades has always been one of my top priorities in Congress. The funding provided in this legislation continues much needed restoration and revitalization projects. We also included funds for vital scientific research taking place, allowing the U.S. Geological Survey to study and better understand the Everglades ecosystem. Within this bill, funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program is also provided. PILT is a critical program to local governments in Florida, like Collier County, who depend on that money to support first responders and social services,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart.

“I congratulate Chairman Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Calvert on their leadership, and I look forward to continue working with them to help preserve the Everglades for future generations,” continued Congressman Diaz-Balart.

Congressman Francis Rooney stated, “Everglades restoration is vital to the ecology and economy of our community. Last evening's appropriations secured the funding necessary to begin advancing key projects that will be ongoing for the next several years. I am thankful to the committee for approving the full funding amount requested by the Department of Interior and I will continue to fight for additional resources from every available source. In a budget year where countless programs are being cut in an effort to address our obscene national debt of $20 trillion, every dollar obtained for the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee Watershed is critical.”

Highlights from the legislation include:

  • $8 million for Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and $46 million for non-CERP Everglades projects
  • $10 million for planning and interagency coordination in support of Everglades restoration
  • $3.4 billion for wildland firefighting and prevention
  • $3.2 billion for the State and Tribal Assistance Grants account
  • $1.5 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Language expressing concerning over Biscayne National Park’s proposed marine reserve zone
  • $465 million for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program
  • $153 million for ecosystem programs under the U.S. Geological Survey, including those in the Everglades
  • $30 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program
  • Language supporting the inclusion of Latino contributions in Smithsonian Institute programs, exhibitions, collections, and public outreach

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Diaz-Balart: Labor HHS Appropriations Funds Zika Prevention, NIH Research, Pell Grants

2017/07/19

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill for fiscal year 2018.

“Last summer, the Zika virus became a public health crisis, and we learned that we must be ready to protect our communities and keep our families healthy. The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program provides states and local governments with the resources to respond to public health emergencies, like in the aftermath of a natural disaster or an infectious disease outbreak. The National Institutes of Health was also funded to continue research on Alzheimer’s and cancer treatment. It also funds opioid and heroin abuse treatment programs, to combat a drug crisis that is wreaking havoc across the United States. To help vulnerable populations, funding for senior nutrition programs, including Meals on Wheels, is provided. Many Florida students depend on Pell Grants to continue their education, and funding included offers an opportunity to education, regardless of one's means. Early childhood education makes a significant impact in the 25th District, and funding will allow these programs to continue making a difference in our community.

“I congratulate Chairman Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Cole on their leadership, and I am pleased we were able to fund so many programs that make a positive impact on our communities and keep our families healthy.”

Highlights from the legislation include:

  • $26.4 million for the prevention and response to vector borne diseases such as Zika
  • $35.1 billion to continue research at the National Institutes of Health, including:
    • $1.8 billion for Alzheimer’s research
    • $300 million for the Cancer Moonshot
    • $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative
  • $9.3 billion for early childhood education
  • $747 million to address opioid and heroin abuse, which includes $500 million for the state response grants authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act
  • $838 million for senior nutrition programs, including $227 for the Meals on Wheels Program
  • $680 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement Program, helping local governments respond to public health emergencies
  • $22.4 billion to support students with financial need who receive Pell Grants
  • $2.3 billion  for the Ryan White HIV/Aids Program

 

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Diaz-Balart: Homeland Security Appropriations Funds Prevention, Response to Natural Disasters and Threats in Florida

2017/07/18

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the Homeland Security bill for FY18.

“I am pleased to support legislation that will strengthen our domestic security. By providing agencies like CBP, TSA, and the U.S. Coast Guard with the proper resources, they will be better equipped to mitigate threats at our borders and ports. The funding provided for the Urban Area Security Initiative will support these goals by working to prevent, protect, and respond to natural disasters and acts of terrorism in greater metropolitan areas, like Miami. Additionally, cybersecurity is critical to our domestic defense, and the legislation provides for cyber infrastructure enhancements and hacking prevention. This bill also funds the continued research and improvement of our floodplain and flood hazard mapping. Floridians are no strangers to the flooding that occurs after a storm or hurricane, and these funds support zoning, building standards, and infrastructure upgrades.

“I congratulate Chairmen Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Carter on their leadership, and I look forward to continue working with them to help protect our country from the threats it faces each and every day.”

Highlights from the legislation include:

  • $13.8 billion for Customs and Border Patrol
     
  • $7.2 billion for the Transportation Security Administration
     
  • $630 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative for the prevention and protection, and response to natural disasters and acts of terrorism
     
  • $10.5 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard
     
  • $1.8 billion for the enhancement of cyber infrastructure and hacking prevention
     
  • $177 million for Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis
     
  • $190 million for Floodplain Management and Mapping        

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Chairman Diaz-Balart Opening Statement at FY18 THUD Appropriations Committee Mark-Up

2017/07/17

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, offered the following opening remarks during the full committee mark-up of the FY18 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.


As prepared for delivery: 

“Today I am pleased to present the fiscal year 2018 THUD bill to the Committee for your consideration, with the goal of a favorable motion to the House.

“The bill we are considering today provides $56.5 billion in discretionary budget authority. We are $1.1 billion below the enacted level, but $8.6 billion above the budget request. We have targeted funding in this bill to essential investments in safety, infrastructure, and housing assistance for our most vulnerable populations. This includes the elderly, the disabled, and our veterans.

“This bill includes $17.8 billion in discretionary appropriations, and $76.7 billion in total resources for the Department of Transportation.

“The Federal Aviation Administration is funded at $16.6 billion, an increase of $435 million above the budget request. We provide this increase to keep advancing NextGen programs with over $1 billion, and to advance the safe operation of our Air Traffic Control system. We made sure we provided funding to support the men and women who work every day to ensure we maintain U.S. leadership as the safest, most complex air traffic system in the world. This has been a top priority for this subcommittee for a number of years, and clearly one for me as well.

“Through the federal-aid highways program, the bill delivers $45 billion in road and bridge funding from the Highway Trust Fund, which is almost $1 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. This funding will provide much needed growth and improvements within America’s highway system.

“The bill provides $2.2 billion to the Federal Railroad Administration to continue our commitment to rail safety and to make critical infrastructure investments.

“The bill also addresses the repair backlog on the Northeast Corridor with a $500 million investment in the Federal-State Partnership to the State of Good Repair Grants.

“We didn’t agree with the Administration’s proposal to shut down the Transit Capital Investment Grant program, and instead we provide funding to keep projects moving through the pipeline.

“For housing programs, we worked to ensure that we continue assistance to our most vulnerable populations. The bill includes $38.3 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The bill includes significant increases to keep pace with inflation – almost $1 billion above last year for direct rental assistance to maintain housing for those who are currently served.

“The bill places a priority on Homeless Assistance programs, and Housing for Opportunities for Persons with AIDS – funding these programs at the enacted level and significantly above the budget request.

“The bill restores a number of community development programs that were proposed for elimination in the budget request – CDBG, HOME, and Capacity Building. We listened to our Members from both sides of the aisle, who made sure we knew this was a priority. These programs support decision making where it should happen – at the local level.

“We have made some tough choices, but place a priority on safety, infrastructure, and assistance to the most vulnerable among us.”

                    
 

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NDAA Provides Armed Forces with Resources to Defend Our Country and U.S. National Security Interests

2017/07/14

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018.

“The United States faces the most dangerous and complex strategic situation in decades. We must ensure that our armed forces have the robust resources they need to defend our country and protect U.S. national security interests. The NDAA is a key step toward improving our readiness against our enemies, modernizing our forces, and providing staunch allies like Israel with American support. Most importantly, this legislation is a reminder to our men and women in uniform that they have the full support of Congress and this administration. I am committed to continue working with my colleagues to make sure the U.S. military has the tools it needs to defend our stars and stripes in the 21st century.”

                                             

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Díaz-Balart recuerda a las víctimas del “13 de marzo”

2017/07/13

WASHINGTON – El congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-25) hizo la siguiente declaración para recordar a las víctimas del ataque al remolcador “13 de marzo” en su vigésimo tercer aniversario.

“Hoy marcamos uno de los días más negros de la historia de Cuba. Hace veintitrés años, el régimen de Castro hundió despiadadamente al remolcador  ‘13 de marzo’, asesinando así a decenas de cubanos, entre ellos niños pequeños, que simplemente huían de la tiranía para vivir en libertad. Al recordar esa atrocidad, envío mis oraciones a los familiares y amigos de las víctimas que han sufrido tanto.

“Muchos inocentes han muerto trágicamente a manos del régimen comunista de Castro. Los responsables de la masacre del ‘13 de marzo’ y otros criminales del régimen acabarán pagando por sus crímenes. Hasta ese momento, seguiré reclamando los derechos humanos fundamentales, el respeto por la vida y la dignidad, y las libertades esenciales que le corresponden al pueblo cubano”.



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Diaz-Balart Remembers “13 de marzo” Victims

2017/07/13

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement honoring the victims of the “13 de marzo” tugboat massacre on its 23rd anniversary.

“Today, we mark one of Cuba’s darkest days when, twenty-three years ago, the Castro regime ruthlessly capsized the ‘13 de marzo’ tugboat and thereby murdered dozens at sea, including young children, who were simply seeking freedom from a tyrannical dictatorship.  As we remember that heinous atrocity, I send my prayers to the loved ones of the victims who continue to mourn their loss. 

“Shamefully, many innocents have died at the hands of the Castro regime. The callous perpetrators of the ‘13 de marzo’ massacre, and the Castro regime’s other brutal thugs, will be held accountable for their crimes.  Until then, I will continue to press for basic human rights, respect for human life and dignity, and fundamental liberties for the Cuban people.”   

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Diaz-Balart: CJS Appropriations Bill Helps Combat Crime, Keep Communities Safe

2017/07/13

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the Commerce, Justice, and Science bill for FY18.

"This legislation provides federal and local law enforcement officials and first responders with the resources and tools they need to combat crime, protect our communities, and perform counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations.   Far too many Americans are battling addictions with opioids and other illegal substances, and funding provided to DEA will help fight the war on drugs. It also encourages scientific innovation and advances America’s economic competitiveness, maintaining America’s leadership in space.  Hurricane forecasting and weather research vitally important to our community is also funded in this bill.

“I congratulate Chairmen Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Culberson on their leadership, and look forward to continue working with them to provide our law enforcement and research communities with the tools to protect and advance our country.”

Highlights from the legislation include:

  • $8.8 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • $2.6 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • $4.97 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • Within these funds, $31 million for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) to improve weather and flooding forecasting
  • $19.9 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Grant programs:
    • $500 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants
    • $22.5 million for the Body Worn Camera Partnership
    • $103 million for opioid abuse prevention
    • $125 million to clear DNA kit backlogs and provide other forensic services after sexual assault crimes
    • $527 million to combat domestic abuse, violence on college campuses, and provide services to sexual assault and trafficking victims
  • Language to encourage the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to partner with academic research institutions to study and provide best practices in mitigating effects of natural disasters and resiliency construction

                                              

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Diaz-Balart Includes Everglades, Herbert Hoover Dike Funding in Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

2017/07/12

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the Energy and Water bill for FY18. Diaz-Balart, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, worked with his colleagues to ensure funding for projects important to Florida were included in the final legislation.

"Florida is fortunate to have so many diverse natural treasures that have significant impacts on our local community. These funds will go towards the ongoing Everglades restoration work that is vital to the ecosystem's preservation. Continued funding for the Herbert Hoover Dike is critical to the timely rehabilitation of the waterway. I am pleased to have obtained full funding for these projects, and look forward to continue working with local officials and community leaders, including Clewiston Mayor Mali Gardner, LaBelle Mayor David Lyons, Hendry County Commissioner Karson Turner, Mary Ann Martin, Erik Eikenberg and the Everglades Foundation Board of Directors, among others.  

"I thank Chairman Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Simpson for their willingness to work with me on these issues. I will continue to advance issues important to Florida, both in the Appropriations Committee and amongst my House colleagues,” said Diaz-Balart.

“Congressman Diaz-Balart has been a tireless advocate for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation,” said Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson.  “I’m pleased that we were able to support these important efforts, and am grateful for Mario’s leadership in Florida.”

In addition to the funds obtained in the FY18 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, Diaz-Balart is working with his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to secure additional funding for Everglades restoration projects in the upcoming FY18 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.

Diaz-Balart, Founder and Co-Chair of the Everglades Caucus, was successful in including the following items in the legislation:

  • $76.5 million for Everglades restoration
  • $82 million for the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation

                                              

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Diaz-Balart Joins Special Report to Discuss #BetterDealforCuba

2017-06-16 22:29:41


POTUS and VP Deliver Remarks at Cuba Policy Announcement Event

2017-06-16 19:41:21


Congressman Diaz-Balart Delivers Remarks at President Trump's Cuba Policy Announcement

2017-06-16 17:47:42


Diaz-Balart asks Mnuchin about further sanctions against Maduro regime

2017-06-14 20:44:13


Diaz-Balart asks Mnuchin about continued pressure on China, North Korea

2017-06-14 19:37:16


Diaz-Balart Questions Mnuchin on Palestinian Authority

2017-06-14 19:20:15


Congressman Diaz-Balart Speaks in Support of FY17 Defense Appropriations Bill

2017-03-08 22:20:25


Diaz-Balart speaks in support of Everglades and Florida's ecosystem

2016-04-19 22:28:54


Diaz-Balart on Fox Business Channel's Mornings with Maria

2016-03-22 19:09:24


Congressman Diaz-Balart's Opening Statement During House Budget Mark-Up for FY17

2016-03-16 16:46:28


Diaz-Balart Questions Secretary Lew About Eased Sanctions to Castro Regime

2016-03-15 21:46:53


Secretary Kerry Can't Provide Any Evidence of Improved Human Rights in Cuba

2016-02-24 18:26:48


Congressman Diaz-Balart's Reaction to the Pope's Address

2015-09-24 19:15:54


Congressional Veterans Commendation

2015-09-11 16:54:02


Congressman Diaz-Balart speaks out against the Iran deal

2015-09-10 21:22:14


Congressman Diaz-Balart Celebrates FIU's 50th Anniversary

2015-06-22 15:04:20


Diaz-Balart Speaks Against Amendment That Benefits Castro Regime's Military

2015-06-03 13:24:29


Diaz-Balart Supports FY16 Budget Resolution

2015-04-30 23:22:57


Congressman Diaz-Balart Discusses Importance of Everglades Funding

2015-04-30 13:47:41


Congressman Diaz-Balart - Opening Remarks at 2015 Budget Conference

2015-04-20 20:53:52


Contact Information

436 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4211
Fax 202-225-8576
mariodiazbalart.house.gov

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.


Serving With

Matt Gaetz

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Neal Dunn

FLORIDA's 2nd DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

John Rutherford

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Brian Mast

FLORIDA's 18th DISTRICT

Francis Rooney

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Carlos Curbelo

FLORIDA's 26th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT

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