Díaz-Balart’s FY24 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill Approved by House Appropriations Committee

Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-26), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, issued the following statement after the release of the fiscal year 2024 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding Bill.

A summary of the bill is available here.

Bill Report is available here.

Bill Text is available here.

Chairman Díaz-Balart’s opening remarks from today can be read here.

Click here to watch the Full Committee Markup.

“As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, I am proud of this legislation which funds our national security by drastically reducing wasteful spending overall. There were two critical components I considered within every decision made-our national debt and our national security. This bill includes real cuts with a 24% reduction from the Administration’s request and a 12% reduction from last year’s funding level. I am proud of the hard work that went into this important legislation. We scrubbed every program to ensure efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness.

Directly tied to our national security, is confronting our adversaries. To address the growing national security threat posed by China, this measure prioritizes countering the malign influence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and for the first time, provides Foreign Military Financing grants to help democratic Taiwan deter PRC coercion and aggression. Additionally, this legislation provides unwavering support for our democratic ally, Israel, and two other vital security partners in the region-Egypt and Jordan.

Just as we must work to counter malign influences, we must also stand with our friends. In our own hemisphere, this bill includes key advancements to promote democracy and human rights. This measure supports democracy programs and informative broadcasts into repressive countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Communist China, Belarus, and Iran. Furthermore, it directs the State Department to strengthen and reward key partners in our hemisphere, such as Panama, the Dominican Republic, Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. This bill also provides funding to counter fentanyl and other illicit drug trafficking across the southern border, while also providing medical and other humanitarian assistance to Haiti.

This bill represents a significantly different approach, but it is also straightforward. If you are a friend or an ally of the United States, this bill supports you. If you are an enemy or are cozying up to our enemies, then you will not like this bill. Organizations that advance freedom and deliver results favorable to American interests are supported. Organizations that elevate human rights abusers, conspire with autocrats, reject transparency, and tolerate anti-Semitic sentiment do not merit support. This bill represents a significant departure from the status quo as we demonstrate a fresh approach to foreign affairs, one that recognizes the importance of safeguarding American interests, supporting our allies, and ensuring fiscal well-being.”


The bill prioritizes agencies and programs that strengthen our national security, counter the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Party of China (CCP), provide support to our allies, and promote American values at home and abroad, while cutting the spending for low-priority activities and programs.

Supports our National Security

  • Promoting freedom in the Western Hemisphere, including $30 million for democracy programs for Cuba, as we mark the two-year anniversary of the historic uprising by the people of Cuba to demand freedom;
  • Prioritizing funding and policies to combat the flow of fentanyl and other illicit drugs into the United States;
  • Prohibiting funds for the PRC and the CCP, prohibiting funds for international financial institutions from loans to PRC;
  • Provide unwavering support for Israel by including $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing Program; and
  • Fully supporting other key allies in the Middle East, such as Egypt and Jordan.

 Promotes Freedom

  • Encourages our European partners who want our help with Ukraine to support us in defending freedom and democracy in our hemisphere as well, particularly in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua;
  • Exposes the trafficking of doctors from Cuba and conditions aid to countries participating in this form of modern slavery;
  • Strengthens language that directs USAID and the Department of State to regain programmatic management focus on core democracy issues vs. non-core issues;
  • Defer funding on Colombia as the current trajectory of Colombia under President Gustavo Petro is increasingly at odds with the United States’ security and economic interests. The Committee will continue to assess as the actions of the Petro Government and its relations with Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia, as the process moves forward. With previous assistance amounting to $500 million annually, the Committee wants to watch how events unfold in Colombia;
  • The bill strongly supports democracy programs in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua and outreach efforts that provide information to people living under authoritarian dictatorships; and
  • The bill also forces the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to deal with Cuba as it does other rogue states by directing funding of $35 million for the operations of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti)

 Protects life, supports American values, and enhances economic competitiveness by: 

  • Prioritizing diplomatic engagement to favorably resolve commercial disputes abroad and to promote American business interests overseas;
  • Refocusing attention on critical diplomatic functions, such as addressing the backlog of Passport applications and ensuring the safety and security of our embassies;
  • Maintaining all long-standing, pro-life protections;
  • Supporting religious freedom programs abroad and religious freedom protections for faith-based organizations delivering foreign aid; and
  • Banning “disinformation” and “misinformation” programs that violate the free speech rights of American citizens.

 Support Israel and Addresses Hostile Nations in the Region

  • Fully funds the United States-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at $3.3 billion;
  • Prohibits funding to implement or enforce any agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program or a renewal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; and

Expands and strengthens vetting related to the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and engagement in political advocacy.

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart Introduces the “Secure the Border Act of 2023”

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26), introduced H.R. 2, the “Secure the Border Act of 2023,” a comprehensive border security and immigration reform bill to address the ongoing crisis at our southern border and its implications.

“The crisis at our Southern border is among the gravest threats to U.S. national security in our history. For the last two years, President Biden and his Administration have entirely neglected the escalating crisis at our border, and their lack of action has ceded all control to narco-terrorist cartels, who are now among the most powerful in deciding who comes into our country and at what price.

“As a result, the influx of unaccompanied minors has skyrocketed. Minors are now being used by their “sponsors”– oftentimes adults they have never met– to perform brutal and dangerous jobs across the United States, violating child all labor laws and putting these innocent lives at tremendous risk. Even the New York Times has highlighted the horrors that unaccompanied minors live through and the lack of action from the Administration to protect these minors. A recent investigation found that “The White House and federal agencies were repeatedly alerted to signs of children at risk. The warnings were ignored or missed.”

“President Biden promised a more “humane and fair” immigration policy, but there is nothing humane about the nearly 900 individuals who died last year making their way into the United States. There is nothing humane about the 300 Americans who die daily from fentanyl poisoning that is brought in through our southern border. There is nothing humane about the women and children abused, raped, and killed by cartels. There is nothing humane about unaccompanied minors being exploited and ending up in some of the most punishing jobs in the country.

“On the other hand, the unmanageable chaos at our border has overwhelmed our federal agencies and prevented those with legitimate asylum cases, fleeing murderous dictatorships, from having their case heard and considered. In addition to the Biden Administration’s failed border policy, its foreign policy and record of strengthening regimes like Maduro and Castro continue to destabilize these countries, pushing even more individuals into the United States. This vicious cycle must end.

“House Republicans have spent months holding hearings with border patrol agents, local law enforcement, and stakeholders to hear first-hand about their ongoing struggles and what resources are necessary to enhance security and regain operational control. Today, I am proud to introduce the “Secure the Border Act of 2023,” a border security and immigration reform package that will provide real, thoughtful solutions to restore order at the Southwest border, enhance our national security, and most importantly, protect unaccompanied minors– something that the Administration has refused to acknowledge and failed to act upon.

“Border security is national security, and since the Biden Administration has lacked the leadership to uphold our national security, regain control of our immigration process, or secure our borders, I am proud to lead this effort in the House and deliver on the promise made as a member of the American Security Task Force in Congress. It is long past the time to take back control of the border from the drug cartels and establish humane and fair policies that adhere to the rule of law.”

Summary document available here.

Section-by-section available here.

Congressman Diaz-Balart Meets with Columbian President Gustavo Petro

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26), Chairman of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee in Congress and Co-Chair of the Congressional Colombia Caucus, was joined by his colleagues from the Colombia Caucus in a meeting with Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro to express the importance of the close U.S.-Colombia partnership and raise concerns about the actions and comments from Colombia’s new president.

“As co-chair of the Congressional Colombia Caucus, I joined a caucus meeting today with Colombia’s newly elected president in respect for the longstanding relationship between the United States and Colombia, our close ties to the Colombian people, and to express my grave concerns directly with the new government. Since the highly successful Plan Colombia, the United States has provided more than $13 billion in assistance to promote security, eradicate drug trafficking, and combat terrorism in Colombia. However, the actions and comments from Colombia’s new president have put the largely successful U.S.-Colombia relationship in jeopardy.

“As Chairman of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee, I will not permit U.S. taxpayer dollars to support a government in Colombia that sustains the Maduro regime with intelligence-sharing or funding, allows Russia a foothold in the country, partners with the Cuban regime to facilitate human trafficking, or that enables drug trafficking and production.

“Should the current president decide to support malign, anti-American actors in our hemisphere, then he will be responsible for destroying the foundation of our countries’ relationship.”

Mario’s Message – Mario Diaz-Balart Member of Congress

Dear friend,
Welcome back to another edition of Mario’s Message. Here are the latest updates on all things happening in Washington and Florida’s 25th Congressional District. It is my absolute honor to serve you, and I encourage you to get in touch with my office if we can ever be of assistance.
Remembering 13 Fallen Heroes
On August 26, 2021, American troops, civilians, and Afghan allies were injured and killed by an Islamic State suicide bombing outside Kabul airport. The actions and lack of planning and forethought by the Biden Administration these last few weeks have irrevocably damaged our national security and our standing with our allies while putting Americans in harm’s way. Right now, our priority should be to do everything we can to bring all American citizens and Afghan allies back to safety. Once this is done, Congress must use its constitutional powers to hold this Administration accountable for this dangerous and damaging catastrophe that cost the lives of 13 U.S. Marines. We will never forget these brave heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. Our nation mourns for them. I pray for their families and loved ones.
Office Hours Near You
Every week, to make our services more accessible, we bring our office to you by hosting outreach hours in neighborhoods all over our community. Residents of Florida’s 25th District are welcome to meet with a member of my staff to discuss federal issues or any problems that they may have with a federal agency. To find the nearest office hours, click here.
$3.5 Trillion Reckless Spending Bill
Last week, House Democratic Leadership pushed forward a $3.5 trillion spending bill that is filled with nothing but socialist policies and wasteful spending that will kill American jobs, prop the Chinese Communist Party by sending American businesses overseas, escalate taxes on hardworking Americans, and increase the already-growing inflation. If signed into law, this would have catastrophic, long-term effects on the livelihood of hardworking American families and businesses. Our nation is already feeling the effects of rising inflation, and small businesses continue to face a dire labor shortage. Further increasing our national debt will not only extend the duration and magnitude of this problem, but it will also have devastating implications on our nation’s economy.
Cuban-American Community in Naples
It was an honor to meet with the Cuban-American community in Collier County to discuss the ongoing situation in Cuba and to stand in solidarity with the Cuban freedom movement.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
The state is hosting mobile, one-day vaccination clinics in partnership with local community organizations to increase vaccine access to all Floridians.
Mobile vaccine locations can be found here.
There are also State and Federally-supported vaccination sites near you!
Visit my website for additional details and a comprehensive list of COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites in our community.
Stay Connected
To keep up with live updates, connect with me on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram, or visit my website for any constituent services I am able to provide you with.
As always, it’s a pleasure to serve you.
Warm Regards,
Mario Diaz-Balart
Member of Congress

Diaz-Balart: House Democratic Leadership Must Abandon ‘Spend Now, Pay Later’ Mentality

Diaz-Balart: House Democratic Leadership Must Abandon ‘Spend Now, Pay Later’ Mentality

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement on House Democratic Leadership’s $3.5 trillion partisan spending spree.

“House Democratic Leadership’s track record has consistently proven that they have no regard for the consequences of their reckless spending– consequences that our children and grandchildren will inevitably have to face. Their latest $3.5 trillion debacle is a trojan horse filled with nothing but socialist policies and wasteful spending that will kill American jobs, prop the Chinese Communist Party by sending American businesses overseas, escalate taxes on hardworking Americans, and increase the already-growing inflation. If signed into law, this bill would have catastrophic, long-term effects on the livelihood of hardworking American families and businesses. Our nation is already feeling the effects of rising inflation and small businesses continue to face a dire labor shortage. Further increasing our national debt will not only extend the duration and magnitude of this problem, but it will also have devastating implications on our nation’s economy.”

Diaz-Balart: The New PPP= Pelosi’s Political Payoff

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement regarding House Democratic Leadership’s fake COVID relief bill.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed five bipartisan relief bills that total nearly $4 trillion. From this total, approximately $1 trillion remains unspent, yet House Democratic Leadership wants to waste an additional $2 trillion that our children and grandchildren will be forced to pay for. We must not be blindsided by its name; less than 10% of this bill actually focuses on COVID relief– more than 90% consists of Speaker Pelosi’s payoffs for her political patrons and bailouts for poorly managed states. Florida taxpayers should not be responsible for Cuomo and Newsom’s incompetent management.

“This fake COVID relief bill is not targeted at defeating the virus and vaccinating Americans. Some of the “priorities” included in this “emergency” relief include $200 million for museums and library services, $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, and $112 million for an underground rail project in Silicon Valley. Increasing our national debt to fulfill Pelosi’s partisan wish list is just plain, unadulterated wastefulness and borders on corruption.

“As I have done for the past year, I will support bipartisan legislation that seeks to alleviate the ongoing struggle facing the American people as a result of this pandemic. American families and small businesses need our help, and their livelihoods should not be jeopardized by partisan political deceit.”

Diaz-Balart Appointed to Defense, State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) was appointed to serve on the Defense, and State and Foreign Operations Subcommittees on Appropriations, in addition to serving as Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee.

“I am beyond grateful to my colleagues for selecting me to serve on three Subcommittees on Appropriations. I am especially thankful to Ranking Member Kay Granger for her invaluable leadership and support.

“Now, more than ever, we must ensure that the United States is equipped with the best-trained, most capable military that will continue promoting and protecting our national security interests both at home and abroad. We must also redouble our efforts to demand human rights around the world, continue to fight against the vicious cancer that is the dictatorships in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and support our key friend and ally, Israel. Once again, I am thrilled by this opportunity, and I look forward to returning to these important subcommittees.”

Earlier this year, Congressman Diaz-Balart was re-elected as the leading Republican on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriation Subcommittee.

Diaz-Balart Applauds Sanctions Against Cuban Ministry of Interior and its Leader

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Cuban Ministry of Interior and the Minister of Interior, Lazaro Alberto Álvarez Casas, for serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.

“Today’s sanctions on Cuba’s MININT, which is responsible for brutal repression against the Cuban people, and Lazaro Alberto Álvarez Casas, for human rights abuses is another appropriate action by the Trump Administration to hold the Cuban dictatorship accountable for its horrors. While Cuba’s pro-democracy opposition continues to endure increasing repression, this step shows that the atrocities committed by the Cuban regime’s human rights abusers, will have consequences. I commend the Trump Administration for its tough stand against tyranny and its solidarity with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom.”

Diaz-Balart Will Continue as Leading Republican on T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) was re-elected by the House Republican Steering Committee to continue his service as the leading Republican on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriation Subcommittee.

“I am grateful to my colleagues, the Steering Committee, and Ranking Member Granger for reiterating their trust in me, and, once again, electing me to be the lead Republican on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee on Appropriations. During my years on T-HUD, as former Chairman and now Ranking Member, I have brought millions of federal dollars to South Florida to support our veterans, the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations. These federal dollars were especially evident when Miami-Dade County effectively ended veteran homelessness in 2018.

“I have also worked diligently to maintain and upgrade our nation’s roadways, seaports, transit systems, and airports. Further, I have successfully been able to bring these investments into our community. Whether through the first federal capital for the SMART plan, PortMiami receiving the largest grant for port infrastructure development, or helping to build the Underline, I am thankful to have been at the forefront of obtaining these funds.

“I’m thrilled to continue working on the T-HUD Subcommittee, and I again thank my colleagues for this opportunity. I look forward to continuing this collaboration in the 117th Congress.”

Diaz-Balart: The Trump Administration has Placed the Cuban Regime Back Where it Belongs

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement after the Department of State announced its designation of the Cuban regime as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST).

“The Trump Administration has placed the Cuban regime back where it belongs— on the SST list — due to its support of terrorist groups such as the FARC and ELN, harboring fugitives such as an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist Joanne Chesimard and propping up the Maduro regime. The previous administration should never have delisted the Cuban regime in 2015, particularly at a time when the regime’s intelligence services are assisting international terrorist organizations and assisting in the brutal suppression of the Venezuelan people. The Trump administration has once again kept its promise to hold the malevolent, anti-American regime in Cuba accountable for its actions. The Cuban regime has oppressed the Cuban people, aided terrorist organizations, and wreaked havoc throughout our hemisphere. That is why President Reagan included it in the SST list in 1982. I applaud the Trump Administration’s decision to place the regime on that list once again.”

In 2019, Diaz-Balart sent a letter to Secretary Pompeo urging him to reclassify the Cuban dictatorship as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.