Florida Republican rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is championing a THUD funding bill that cleared Congress last week. While he is no longer the chair of the U.S. House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Diaz-Balart still weighed in on the work the subcommittee has done and what the bill means for the future.However, it should be noted that he is the top Republican in the Subcommittee.
Last Thursday, rep. Diaz-Balart informed that the United States has received “historic levels of funding to revitalize and repair our nation’s aging infrastructure.” And, he argued that “this year, we further that investment and build on the progress we made towards improving our roadways, bridges, airports, transit systems, and for the first time, our seaports.”
Diaz-Balart continued to praise the bill, saying that it “funds vital infrastructure and housing programs.” And, he noted that what he is most proud of is the “nearly $300 million we have included specifically to improve our nation’s seaports.”
He added, explaining that “Over the past year I heard from so many port authorities in Florida, and across the nation, on the need for a dedicated port funding pool. For the first time, the legislation delivers just that, and will have a direct benefit on our state, and our local ports. $93 million will go towards the top 15 container ports, which includes PortMiami and Port Everglades, with priority given to projects which address a critical issue facing both ports – fumigation fees. I will continue to be a champion for our ports and look forward to building on this program in the future.”
Finally, the South Florida Republican detailed that “Beyond ports, this bill continues the strong levels of funding for BUILD grants, Capital Investment Grants, and Airports and Highway Grants, allowing localities like those in Collier, Hendry, and Miami-Dade Counties to compete for federal money to upgrade and expand their facilities. In fact, our area has already reaped the benefits of these programs in the previous year, and I am confident we will continue to see investments made in our communities this year.”