Mario Diaz-Balart
American politician
Mario Diaz-Balart
Mario Rafael Diaz-Balart Caballero is the current U.S. Representative for, serving since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he was elected in 2010 to succeed his brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The district includes the city of Hialeah, along with several of Miami's southwestern suburbs. He previously served from 2003 to 2011.
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Ted Cruz vs. The Muslim Brotherhood Boogeyman
Huffington Post - about 1 month
A bill introduced this week by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) calls on the U.S. State Department to determine whether the Muslim Brotherhood is a foreign terrorist organization. Advocates for American Muslims suspect a darker purpose ― to smear and potentially prosecute American Muslim advocacy groups, a move that could prove disastrous for the civil rights of Muslims in this country. Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) introduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act in both chambers of Congress on Tuesday. In a press release, Cruz said that the brotherhood espouses “a violent Islamist ideology with a mission of destroying the West” and that formally designating them a terror group would “enable the U.S. to take action that could stifle the funding they receive to promote their terrorist activities.” It’s the fifth time members of the Senate and House, urged on by a multimillion-dollar network of anti-Muslim groups, have attempted to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terro ...
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Huffington Post article
Obama To End Automatic Residency For Cuban Migrants
Huffington Post - about 1 month
The U.S. government will no longer automatically extend residency to Cuban migrants arriving in the country without visas, President Barack Obama announced in a surprise decision Thursday. The “wet foot, dry foot” policy was “designed for a different era,” the president said in a statement. “By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries,” he said. “The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea.” The major policy change came with only days left in Obama’s presidency and after the president had worked for years to normalize diplomatic relations and chip away at the decades-old trade embargo. Obama capped his efforts with a visit to Havana last year. The warming of relations with the onetime Cold War enemy became one of his signature foreign policy achievements. But the cooling of tensions b ...
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Huffington Post article
Money Trumps Loyalty: How Trump Lost The Cuban-American Vote
Huffington Post - 5 months
In 1960 the Eisenhower Administration imposed the first partial embargo (limited to exports) to communist Cuba, and Cuban-Americans and the GOP have been making beautiful music together ever since. Now, thanks to Donald Trump's political infidelities, the Miami-GOP marriage may be headed for the rocks. The recent discovery of Donald Trump's apparent violation of the U.S. trade embargo is about much more than one candidate's prospects for election. It represents the clearest and newest evidence of a slow but undeniable shift in the relationship between Cuban-Americans and the Republican Party. Since 1962, when Pres. Kennedy did Eisenhower one better by enacting a full embargo on Cuba, every single Republican nominee for the White House has enthusiastically supported its continuation. And every Republican Presidential aspirant since then has made a point of promising the Cuban diaspora that he would maintain the US's hardline stance against the Castro dictatorship. For over 5 ...
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Huffington Post article
An American Missile Landed in Cuba: A Pro-Embargo Charade
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The story on the front page of the Wall Street Journal about the American missile that allegedly ended up in Cuba, lost in Air France's baggage, speaks poorly of the Department of Defense. Not everything that comes out wrong from the Pentagon is a product of espionage or ill-will. Negligence does exist. There is no evidence to date indicating that Cuba has any responsibility whatsoever in the affair but there are those who want to make political hay out of an unfortunate situation. Of all who are using the story to attack engagement with Cuba none other than Elliot Abrams has been the concertmaster. Abrams, you will remember, was in the center of the Iran-Contra, arms-for-hostages scandal during the Reagan Administration. His insistence on being in this story speaks volumes about his incapacity for shame or a naïve belief in amnesia among concerned adults in Washington. Yet, he launched an effort including journalist Maria Anastasia O'Grady, Senator Marco Rubio and congress memb ...
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Huffington Post article
HUFFPOST HILL - Jim Webb Holds First Campaign Event
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Jim Webb dropped out of the Democratic primary, saying Democrats have moved too far left, Republicans too far right, and ignoring the truth: American voters just aren't interested in that center-part hairstyle. Government officials should be fired for not doing their jobs, Marco Rubio said during a rare Senate floor appearance between long stretches of not voting on legislation. And Congress still has no plan to raise the debt ceiling, even though Douglas Holtz-Eakin said failing to do so would reduce America to an "economic fetal position" and we thought Republicans cared about fetuses. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, October 20th, 2015: SENATE CALLS 'NOT IT' ON DEBT LIMIT -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he'd rather have the Keystone Kops in the House handle the nation’s looming default crisis. Barron-Lopez: "With just two weeks left before the U.S. runs out of borrowed money and is forced into a default, congressional leaders have yet to offer a timetable for when ...
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Huffington Post article
Republicans Attack Immigrants While Putting America in Danger
Huffington Post - about 2 years
The House of Representatives' Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill, which is really a law seeking the mass deportations of undocumented people, including children, died on the Senate floor, victim of arithmetic certainty. Mathematical reality seems to be a challenge to the GOP House majority. While most Americans have heard about the 60-vote rule in the U.S. Senate that impacts most legislation -- the cloture/filibuster, as it is commonly known -- House Republicans insist in passing bills that cannot make that threshold, and are subsequently dismayed that their legislation dies an ignominious death. Yet once again, and this would now seem to be par for the course for Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) House, Republicans have passed a bill that, with zero support of Senate Democrats, failed to meet the basic 60-vote threshold -- three times. It has been clear for some time that Democrats will not support the liquidation of President Obama's executive actions on immig ...
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Huffington Post article
Obama To Congress: Don't Play Politics With DHS Funding
Huffington Post - about 2 years
WASHINGTON -- With the Senate set to vote Tuesday on a dead-on-arrival bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security and limit executive immigration programs, President Barack Obama urged Congress on Monday not to risk a shutdown that would lead to workers going without paychecks. "The men and women of the America's homeland security apparatus do important work to protect us and Republicans and Democrats in Congress should not be playing politics with that," he said in remarks at DHS headquarters. "We need to fund the department. Pure and simple." Funding for DHS is set to run out on Feb. 27. If there is a shutdown of the agency, most employees would be considered essential and would continue working, but they wouldn't receive paychecks. The White House released a statement Monday saying more than 40,000 border patrol agents would work without pay under a shutdown, along with 13,000 at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 40,000 in the Coast Guard, 50,000 at the Transportation ...
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Republicans Vote Against Debt Limit Bill That Would Pay For Budget They Supported
Huffington Post - about 3 years
WASHINGTON -- A large number of House Republicans voted against raising the nation's borrowing cap Tuesday, even though they supported a budget in December that required a debt ceiling increase. A total of 201 lawmakers cast votes against allowing the U.S. Treasury Department to borrow more money to pay for the bills that Congress appropriated. Of those, 143 had previously voted for the Murray-Ryan budget bill that set spending levels at $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 trillion in 2015. While a debt ceiling hike with no strings attached was always going to be unpopular among Republicans, by voting against it, many members contradicted their support for the Murray-Ryan budget. Names of the Republicans, including Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) himself, are below. Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah), the only two Democrats who opposed the debt limit bill, also voted for the Murray-Ryan budget. Robert Aderholt (Ala.) Mark Amodei (Nev.) Spencer B ...
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Huffington Post article
Republicans Wary Of Immigration Issue In Election Year
Huffington Post - about 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's new declaration that he's open to legal status for many immigrants short of citizenship sounds a lot like House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders, an election-year compromise that numerous Republicans as well as Democrats crave. But the drive for the first overhaul in three decades still faces major resistance from many Republicans who are wary that the divisive issue could derail what they see as a smooth glide path to winning November's congressional elections. And they deeply distrust the Democratic president to enforce the law. Just hours after Boehner pitched immigration to the GOP at a Maryland retreat, Obama suddenly indicated he would be open to legal status for many of the 11 million living here illegally, dropping his once-ironclad insistence on a special path to citizenship. Democrats, including Obama, and other immigration proponents have warned repeatedly about the creation of a two-tier class system. "If the speaker ...
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Obama Doesn't Rule Out Executive Options On Immigration If Congress Fails
Huffington Post - about 3 years
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama didn't rule out taking some sort of executive action on deportations, saying Friday he is still "modestly optimistic" immigration reform will be passed this year but would consider other options if it fails. "It is my firm belief that we can get immigration reform done this year," he said on a Google Hangout hosted by the White House. "I don't want to pre-suppose that we can't. Obviously, if at some point we see that it's not getting done, I'm going to look at all options to make sure that we have a rational, smart system of immigration." Obama has said repeatedly that he cannot simply halt deportations, and his words didn't indicate that he has plans to do so. Still, he did not rule out expanding some sort of relief for undocumented immigrants, giving a bit of hope to advocates who worry that a long fight for immigration reform could end with no bill and that hundreds of thousands of deportations will take place in the meantime, with no hope of ...
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Huffington Post article
The Latino Face of the GOP's Immigration Reform Blockade
Huffington Post - over 3 years
If a dog won't hunt, change the dog. My father taught me that rule during my first hunting trip. And it holds true for members of Congress, too. Take the clutch of Republican Latinos in the House of Representatives. While many of them seem to be decent folks, when it comes to pushing their party on immigration reform, they just don't hunt. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, scion of a Cuban family of exiles in south Florida seemingly destined to rule like Latin American caudillos, is one such example. Originally elected to a safe district created by Mario Diaz-Balart himself while in the Florida legislature, he now finds himself in even safer territory. After the 2010 census, a new district was created for Diaz-Balart that moved the needle further to the right. In 2010 he won with some 52 percent of the vote under the old boundaries; in 2012 he ran unopposed, as Democrats surrendered without a fight. But beneath the crystalline waters of South Florida, there is tumult. Since the district w ...
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Huffington Post article
House GOP Needs to Put up or Shut up on Immigration Reform
Huffington Post - over 3 years
There is a reason the twitter hashtag #TimeIsNow caught on. The time really is now for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the House Republican leadership to allow a vote on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. It's been 5 long months since the Senate passed such a bill, and sent it over to the House for consideration. But it's been one excuse after another from the House GOP leadership. First it was the Tea Party-manufactured fiscal crisis which consumed most of September and closed the government for the first two weeks of October. Now the House GOP leadership -- including even some like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) who has worked to draft a bipartisan immigration bill -- claim that time has run out this year on immigration reform; that the GOP leadership cannot possibly schedule a vote on a bipartisan bill because there are not enough days in the legislative calendar. Really? Am I missing something? Last I checked the majority party in the House -- the Republicans -- control ...
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Huffington Post article
Mario Diaz-Balart Predicts No Immigration Reform This Year
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), a long-time supporter of immigration reform, told The Washington Post's Greg Sargent on Thursday that the "window is definitely closing" for any bill to give undocumented immigrants legal status. In fact, Diaz-Balart said he doesn't expect anything to happen on the issue at all in 2013, and noted it might be doomed entirely for this Congress if it doesn't get a vote before February or March, when members turn to their reelection bids. "We have very few days available on the floor in the House, so I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it this year," Diaz-Balart told Sargent. "I'm hopeful that we can get to it early next year," he added. "But I am keenly aware that next year, you start running into the election cycle. If we cannot get it done by early next year, then it’s clearly dead. It flatlines." GOP leadership has insisted they are still interested in immigration reform, but haven't announced any votes on existing bills. A measure from ...
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Huffington Post article
Mario Diaz-Balart To Meet With Obama On Immigration Reform
The Huffington Post - over 3 years
WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) — A House Republican working on immigration legislation is heading to the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida is slated to meet with the president on Tuesday. The congressman mentioned the session in an interview with Florida radio station WGCU and his office confirmed the meeting. Read More... More on Latino Politics
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The Huffington Post article
Meet The 37 House Republicans Who Could Lose Their Jobs For Shutting Down The Government
Huffington Post - over 3 years
The 16-day federal government shutdown that furloughed 800,000 workers and cost the U.S. economy $24 billion dollars has largely been pinned on House Republicans, making many of them vulnerable in the 2014 midterm elections. Numerous polls have shown that a majority of Americans assign a larger share of blame for the shutdown to congressional Republicans, who tried to tie government funding provisions to defunding the Affordable Care Act. Even prominent Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have criticized their colleagues in the House for damaging the GOP's image. Fifty-four percent of Americans now oppose Republican control of the House, according to a CNN-ORC poll released on Monday. And a series of polls commissioned by progressive advocacy group Moveon.org and conducted by Public Policy Polling released in batches over the last several days indicate Democrats may have enough momentum to take back the House. Democrats on ...
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Huffington Post article
Immigration Reform Is Alive and Kicking on Capitol Hill
Huffington Post - over 3 years
As it turns out, reports of the death of immigration reform were greatly exaggerated. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other House Republicans and Democrats are reportedly working on various immigration plans, some of which, including a bill to be released next week by Issa, deal with the toughest issue of all -- what to do about the nation's 11.7 million undocumented immigrants. And Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says that immigration reform could get to the floor of the House before the end of the year. Is common sense breaking out on Capitol Hill? That might be too much to ask for. But at least the GOP leadership seems to be taking a hard look at political reality. Here are four big reasons why an immigration overhaul is likely to happen by the end of the year: 1. Immigration reform is a political win-win for Democrats and Republicans. I can't say that either the Democrats or Republicans came out of last week's shutdown and debt limit br ...
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Huffington Post article
House Republicans Consider Short-Term Debt Limit Hike
Huffington Post - over 3 years
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans appeared to be searching for a way out of the fiscal showdown Wednesday, as reports surfaced that leaders were talking to members about a short-term increase of the looming debt limit. Much of the talk appeared to be inspired by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who set the stage with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, advising that Republicans and Democrats could agree on some cuts and spending reforms. Ryan reportedIy told members of the conservative Republican Study Committee Wednesday morning that they should go along with a short-term hike of the debt limit if President Barack Obama agrees in principle to cuts along the lines of those he suggested in his op-ed. Another report said House Republicans would have to agree to pass a "clean" hike of the borrowing cap with support from some Democrats to win White House approval. Obama signaled Tuesday he would accept a short-term clean bill to raise the debt ceiling ...
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Huffington Post article
House Immigration Group Stalls As 2 Republicans Drop Out
Huffington Post - over 3 years
An effort by a bipartisan House group to create a comprehensive immigration reform bill has stalled, group member Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said Friday, and likely won't produce any bill this fall, as two Republicans have dropped out of negotiations. "The bipartisan group just wasn't getting support from Republican House leadership," Gutierrez told the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. "It's just not gonna happen now." The group of seven members had been working for years on comprehensive immigration reform that would, unlike most GOP proposals, include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. It suffered a blow in June when Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) dropped out over health care issues, but the remaining members continued to insist they were close to a deal. They announced they had agreed to key principles in May, but observers began to worry they wouldn't release a bill at all when the process continued to drag on. It was never clear whether House GOP leadership would ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mario Diaz-Balart
    FORTIES
  • 2010
    Age 48
    On February 11, 2010, Diaz-Balart announced his intention to seek election in Florida's 21st congressional district -- being vacated by his brother, Rep.
    More Details Hide Details Lincoln Diaz-Balart -- rather than the 25th district. Although it is widely believed that Mario Diaz-Balart drew the 25th for himself, it is actually a slightly marginal district on paper. In contrast, the 21st is 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. Indeed, since the 21st's creation, the Republican candidate has run unopposed in all but two elections. Mario Diaz-Balart's voting record is somewhat more conservative than that of the other two Cuban-Americans who represent Miami--Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rivera. Unlike the other Cuban American representatives from Miami, Diaz-Balart is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee. He is a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus of Hispanic Republican congressmen. Like his Cuban-American colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Diaz-Balart is a strong advocate 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."
    A member of the Republican Party, he was elected in 2010 to succeed his brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
    More Details Hide Details The district includes the city of Hialeah, along with several of Miami's southwestern suburbs. He previously served from 2003 to 2011.
  • 2008
    Age 46
    On September 29, 2008, Diaz-Balart voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
    More Details Hide Details He currently lives in Miami with his wife and son.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2000
    Age 38
    He returned to the Florida House in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details During his second tenure in the House, he chaired the redistricting committee. 2008 Diaz-Balart defeated Joe Garcia, former Executive Director of Cuban American National Foundation and former chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party. 2010
  • TWENTIES
  • 1988
    Age 26
    He was elected to the Florida House in 1988 and moved to the Florida Senate in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1985
    Age 23
    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 Suarez in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year, he changed his political party affiliation from Democratic to Republican.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1961
    Born
    Diaz-Balart was born in Fort Lauderdale in 1961 to the late Cuban politician Rafael Diaz-Balart.
    More Details Hide Details His aunt, Mirta Diaz-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 Diaz-Balart. His brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, represented Florida's 21st District from 1993 to 2011. He has two other brothers, Jose Diaz-Balart, a journalist, and Rafael Diaz-Balart, a banker.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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