Diaz-Balart’s Bill to Fund Transportation and Housing Passes House
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 2577, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill for FY16.
"I am very pleased with the passage of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill for FY16. This bill prioritizes our nation's infrastructure and housing needs, while adhering to the imposed sequestration cuts.
“We prioritized programs and spending to achieve a number of very important goals, including: continuing the funding levels of MAP-21 contingent upon reauthorization, keeping the commercial air space running smoothly, and preserving the housing option for all current HUD-assisted families.
"Rail safety is a priority for Americans across the country, and we have ensured that all safety and operational measures in the bill were fully funded, including $2 million for safety training and $1.1 million for 16 new rail grade inspectors. We even accepted amendments to provide additional rail safety resources. Many roads, bridges, and tunnels across America are in dire need of restoration, and the legislation provides $40.3 billion towards their repair and renovation. The $15.9 billion provided to the Federal Aviation Administration ensures full funding for air traffic control and its safety personnel that keep our airports efficient.
"I recognize the importance of providing stability and keeping people in their homes, and the legislation ensures that all families who are currently receiving Section 8 and Public Housing Assistance will continue to receive it. This bill protects our most vulnerable by increasing funding for housing for the elderly to $416 million and $152 million for the disabled.
"The common sense provisions in the bill, which prohibit new flights to Cuba and deny licenses to marine vessels that use property confiscated from Americans, further core American values and safeguard the property rights of Americans. We must not permit the exploitation of properties stolen by the Castro regime, which is expressly prohibited in U.S. law.
"Difficult decisions had to be made, but I am confident that this legislation best supports our housing and infrastructure priorities and the Americans who depend on them. I'd like to thank Chairman Rogers for his leadership, support, and guidance during the entire process of moving this bill. I'd also like to thank Ranking Member Price for his willingness to work with me. I look forward to working with Senator Collins to address our nation’s infrastructure and housing needs.”