Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Supports Funding Bill to Provide for Our Troops, School Safety, Infrastructure and Housing Programs

Mar 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, issued the following statement after the House passage of the fiscal year 2018 omnibus funding bill.

“I am pleased to have supported this legislation that secures our schools, supports our troops, combats the opioid epidemic, and continues Everglades restoration efforts. As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, I am particularly proud of what I was able to attain to help our country’s infrastructure and housing programs. Our nation’s infrastructure is in need of major improvement, and I ensured there was funding for the maintenance and upgrade of our bus and transit systems. With autonomous vehicle testing underway in cities across the country, including right here in the 25th district, there are funds for continued research and safety. I supplemented the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which helps states and localities address economic development and housing needs. Public housing vouchers were also increased, helping the most vulnerable populations, including the elderly, disabled, and those living with HIV/AIDS.

“I want to thank Speaker Ryan for his leadership on this bill, ensuring that our nation’s priorities are funded. I thank Chairman Frelinghuysen and his staff for their tireless work. He is a humble, life-long public servant I am honored to call my Chairman, and most importantly, my friend.”

As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, Diaz-Balart funded the following priorities:

  • $1.5 billion for the Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program, helping localities fund infrastructure they might not be able to otherwise without federal dollars
  • $1.3 billion for NextGen investments to modernize air traffic control
  • $1 billion in new funding for airport infrastructure grants
  • $250 million for new positive train control (PTC) safety grants
  • $400 million for bus and bus facility maintenance and revitalization
  • $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • $1.4 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which provides incentives for private sector and non-profit development of affordable housing
  • $22 billion in public housing vouchers, helping needy populations including the elderly, disabled, and persons living with HIV/AIDS

As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Diaz-Balart was able to help fund the following priorities:

  • $6.17 million towards combating citrus greening
  • $4 billion to respond to the opioid epidemic
  • $75 million for school safety initiatives
  • $1.1 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, including mental health services, counseling, bullying prevention, violence and prevention strategies
  • $415.5 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne-JAG), assisting states, localities, and tribes with funding to support law enforcement, crime prevention, drug treatment, and other important initiatives
  • $75 million in grants for states to improve records used in background checks
  • $410 million to help low-income families attain any needed legal assistance
  • $76.5 million for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration
  • $82 million for continued repair of the Herbert Hoover Dike
  • $2.5 million for the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area
  • $1.9 billion for flood and storm damage reduction projects
  • $280 million for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program
  • Overall defense funding of $659 billion – biggest year-to-year increase in 15 years
  • An additional $84 million to support U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) operations off our shores
  • $238 billion for training and readiness of our troops
  • $89.2 for research and development of cutting-edge technology and weapons
  • $23 billion that will support defense shipbuilding industry
  • $14 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including recruitment and retention efforts and over 300 new hires
  • $7.9 billion for the Transportation Safety Authority (TSA), to help expedite passengers through our nation’s busy airports
  • $10.9 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), including the Disaster Relief Fund and critical grant programs
  • $426.5 million for the Capitol Police, protecting countless visitors, employees and Members of Congress
  • $37 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supporting continued research efforts on pediatric cancer, Alzheimer’s, rare diseases, and other illnesses
  • $3.6 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • $670 million for Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreements, funding that was critical to Florida during the Zika crisis
  • $68.8 billion for VA medical care
  • $1.4 billion to support infrastructure for our troops and their families
  • $3.1 billion to help Israel, one of our biggest allies, in its self-defense
  • $8.69 billion for global health programs