Florida (District: 25)
Mario Rafael Diaz-Balart Caballero (born September 25, 1961) is a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)">Republican Party http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives">U.S. Representative from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida">Florida. He has represented a district in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami">Miami area since 2003, currently numbered as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida%27s_25th_congressional_district">25th district. His current district includes much of southwestern http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami-Dade_County">Miami-Dade County, including the city of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hialeah">Hialeah, as well as much of the northern portion of the Everglades.
Mario Diaz-Balart is currently fulfilling his 6th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Diaz-Balart was asked to serve on one of the most prestigious committees: House Committee on Appropriations. As part of the House Committee on Appropriations, he sits on three of its subcommittees: Vice-Chair of Financial Services, State and Foreign Operations, and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.
Diaz-Balart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional district, which at the time, covered portions of Miami-Dade County, Collier County, and Monroe County. Diaz-Balart continued to represent the three counties until 2010, when he ran unopposed for Florida’s 21st Congressional district. After the 2012 redistricting cycle, he ran for the newly redrawn 25th Congressional district, to which he was elected. The 25th district now includes parts of Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, and Hendry Counties.
Prior to his time in Congress, Diaz-Balart served 14 years in the Florida State Legislature in both chambers, House and Senate. At age 31, Diaz-Balart became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida Senate, as well as the first Hispanic to serve as Chair of the Combined Appropriations / Ways and Means / Finance and Tax Committee. During his tenure in the state legislature, he consistently ranked among the most effective legislators in Florida, developing a reputation as a budget hawk, and supporting minority rights.
In Washington, Diaz-Balart has consistently supported and worked to lower taxes, allowing families and small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money. In 2008, Diaz-Balart introduced, the Keep Our Homes Act (H.R. 5962), which offered responsible tax relief to those who have taken the right steps but are struggling to make monthly payments on their mortgages. He sponsored other legislation introducing, the Tax Relief for Families Act (H.R. 411), which would make the state and local sales tax deduction, the child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief, the college deduction and the schoolteacher expense deduction permanent and would repeal the death tax. He also introduced the Commuter Aid and Relief for Suburbs Act or CARS Act (H.R. 5905), a bill that would enable commuters to write off commuting expenses from their taxes.
Diaz-Balart has also been a strong proponent of improving public safety and transportation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Diaz-Balart has helped deliver millions of federal dollars for the I-75 widening project and Miami-Dade Transit. As a true South Floridian, the Everglades restoration has been an ongoing project for Diaz-Balart. As founder and co-chairman of the Everglades Caucus, he has consistently fought to secure billions for the overall restoration and prevented massive funding cuts in recent years. Diaz-Balart has promoted hurricane preparedness and ensured federal relief for Florida in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita.
Diaz-Balart was born on September 25, 1961 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Rafael and Hilda Diaz-Balart, and the youngest of four brothers (Rafael, Lincoln, and Jose). He studied Political Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Diaz-Balart currently resides in Miami, FL with his wife and son.