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Mario Díaz-Balart

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Mario Díaz-Balart
Mario Diaz-Ballart Official.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th district
21st (2011–2013)
25th (2003–2011)
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Constituency established
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 112th district
In office
November 7, 2000 – November 5, 2002
Preceded by Alex Villalobos
Succeeded by Redistricted
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 37th district
In office
November 3, 1992 – November 7, 2000
Preceded by Redistricted
Succeeded by Alex Villalobos
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 115th district
In office
November 8, 1988 – November 3, 1992
Preceded by Javier Souto
Succeeded by Redistricted
Personal details
Born Mario Rafael Díaz-Balart Caballero
(1961-09-25) September 25, 1961 (age 55)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tia Díaz-Balart
Alma mater University of South Florida, Tampa (BA)
Website House website

Mario Rafael Díaz-Balart Caballero /ˈdæz bəˈlɑːrt/ (born September 25, 1961) is a Republican U.S. Representative from Florida. He has represented a district in the Miami area since 2003, currently numbered as the 25th district. His current district includes much of southwestern Miami-Dade County, including the city of Hialeah, as well as much of the northern portion of the Everglades.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Díaz-Balart was born in 1961 in Fort Lauderdale, to Cuban parents, the late Cuban politician Rafael Díaz-Balart, and his wife, Hilda Caballero Brunet. His aunt, Mirta Díaz-Balart, was the first wife of Fidel Castro. Her son, and his cousin, is Fidel Ángel "Fidelito" Castro Díaz-Balart. His uncle is the Cuban-Spanish painter, Waldo Díaz-Balart. His brother, Lincoln Díaz-Balart, represented Florida's 21st District from 1993 to 2011. He has two other brothers, José Díaz-Balart, a journalist, and Rafael Díaz-Balart, a banker.

He attended the University of South Florida to study political science before beginning his public service career as an aide to then-Miami Mayor Xavier Suárez in 1985. In the same year, he changed his political party affiliation from Democratic to Republican.[1]

Florida legislature[edit]

He was elected to the Florida House in 1988 and moved to the Florida Senate in 1992. He returned to the Florida House in 2000. During his second tenure in the House, he chaired the redistricting committee.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Chief Judge Kevin Michael Moore, swearing in Members of Congress Carlos Curbelo, Frederica Wilson, Mario Díaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. (February 2015)

Elections[edit]

2002–2006

Díaz-Balart gave up his seat in the state house to run in the newly created 25th District, which included most of western Miami-Dade County, part of Collier County and the mainland portion of Monroe County. It was widely believed that he had drawn this district for himself, given that he was chairman of the state house redistricting committee. He easily won the seat with 64 percent of the vote. He was unopposed for reelection in 2004, and won a third term with 58 percent of the vote in 2006.

2008

In 2008, Díaz-Balart faced his strongest challenge to date in Joe García, former Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation and former chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party. Despite the perception that Díaz-Balart had drawn the district for himself, it was actually fairly marginal on paper, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+4. Ultimately, Díaz-Balart defeated Garcia with 53 percent of the vote.

2010

On February 11, 2010, Díaz-Balart announced his intention to seek election in Florida's 21st congressional district—being vacated by his brother, Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart—rather than the 25th district.[2] Unlike the 25th, the 21st has long been considered the most Republican district in the Miami area. No other party even put up a candidate when filing closed on April 30, handing the seat to Mario Diaz-Balart.[3]

2012

Díaz-Balart was reelected unopposed in 2012 in the renumbered 25th district. Indeed, since this district's creation in 1993 (it was numbered as the 21st from 1993 to 2013), the Republican candidate has run unopposed in all but two elections.[citation needed]

He is a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus of Hispanic Republican congressmen.[citation needed]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus membership[edit]

Political positions[edit]

As of 2 May 2017, Diaz-Balart voted with his party in 95.8% of votes so far in the current session of Congress and voted in line with President Trump's position in 100% of votes.[4][5]

Abortion[edit]

Diaz-Balart opposes abortion.[6] He opposes human embryonic stem cell research.[7]

Donald Trump[edit]

In February 2017, he voted against a resolution that would have directed the House to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns, which would then have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.[8]

Diaz-Balart supported Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying "It is clear that Director Comey had lost the confidence of the Deputy Attorney General, Attorney General, and the President. Unfortunately, he became a controversial and divisive figure."[9]

Economy[edit]

On September 29, 2008, Díaz-Balart voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which was intended to purchase distressed assets and supply cash directly to banks during the global financial crisis of 2008.[10] He voted against the $15 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler.[7] He has co-sponsored legislation to "audit" the Federal Reserve.[11]

Diaz-Balart has voted against legislation to provide trade adjustment assistance to workers who lost their jobs due to globalization.[12]

Environment[edit]

He has expressed skepticism of climate change. He has questioned the scientific consensus on climate change, and has falsely said that the scientific community in the past predicted global cooling.[13] He has also implied that scientific claims about climate change are driven by monetary rewards: "I know there’s a lot of money to be made on the bandwagon of global warming, you can make movies, documentaries, get a lot of research money ".[14][15][16]

He opposes federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.[6] He has voted in favor of a resolution to roll back EPA regulations that mandate a 32 percent reduction in power plant carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.[16]

Broadcasting[edit]

He has voted for legislation to increase fines for "indecent broadcasting".[7]

Foreign policy[edit]

In 2007, Díaz-Balart advocated in favor of maintaining the Cuban embargo, saying "Some people do not understand the embargo of Cuba. Its purpose is to keep American hard currency out of the hands of a Communist thug by restricting most trade and travel."[17]

Healthcare[edit]

He is in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).[6] On May 4, 2017, Diaz-Balart voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.[18][19]

LGBT rights[edit]

He opposes same-sex marriage.[6]

Immigration[edit]

Díaz-Balart supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. He stated that “The ban is only temporary until the Administration can review and enact the necessary procedures to vet immigrants from these countries. The ban is based on countries the Obama administration identified as ‘countries of concern’ and not based on a religious test.”[20]

Net neutrality[edit]

He has voted against net neutrality legislation, which holds that internet service providers cannot discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, website, platform, or application.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He currently lives in Miami with his wife Tia and son Cristian Rafael.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Díaz-Balart Se Pasa Al Partido Republicano", El Nuevo Herald, April 24, 1985.(in Spanish)
  2. ^ "Mario Díaz-Balart Will Run to Succeed His Brother". Roll Call. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  3. ^ "Candidates and Races – Candidate Tracking system – Florida Division of Elections – Department of State". state.fl.us. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (2017-01-30). "Tracking Mario Diaz-Balart In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 
  5. ^ Willis, Derek. "Represent". ProPublica. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 
  6. ^ a b c d "The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  7. ^ a b c d OnTheIssues.org. "Mario Diaz-Balart on the Issues". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  8. ^ "These are all the Republicans who don’t want you to see Donald Trump's tax returns". indy100. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  9. ^ "Florida politicians react to firing of FBI director Comey". miamiherald. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  10. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681". FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681. US House of Representatives. 
  11. ^ "Mario Diaz-Balart on Budget & Economy". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  12. ^ "Mario Diaz-Balart on Free Trade". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  13. ^ MarioDiazBalart (2008-09-08), Diaz-Balart Asks Questions of Climate Change Scientists, retrieved 2017-02-18 
  14. ^ ThinkProgress (2013-06-26). "The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  15. ^ "S. Florida Republicans lead their party from climate change denial". charlotteobserver. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  16. ^ a b "Latino Scientists, City Managers Sound Alarm on Miami's Rising Seas – NBC News". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  17. ^ [1] Archived April 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  19. ^ Iannelli, Jerry (2017-05-04). "Miami Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart Voted to Repeal Obamacare". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  20. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump’s travel ban; here’s where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Biography". 11 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th congressional district

2003–2013
Succeeded by
David Rivera
Preceded by
Lincoln Díaz-Balart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 21st congressional district

2011–2013
Succeeded by
Ted Deutch
Preceded by
Luis Fortuño
Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference
2009–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
David Rivera
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th congressional district

2013–present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tom Cole
R-Oklahoma
United States Representatives by seniority
103rd
Succeeded by
Trent Franks
R-Arizona