News Column

Sequestration Q&A: US Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

Sept. 21, 2012

Staff --

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart asked congressional leaders, governors and mayors to respond to several questions directly related to the Sequestration and Transparency Act of 2012. Because the mandated cuts will impact every state, county and locality across the country,'s editorial team reached out to more than a dozen Republican and Democratic policymakers from states with significant numbers of Hispanic constituents, including Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Utah.

A few lawmakers and one administration official respectfully declined to respond to sequestration-related questions. Some responded immediately.

In the coming weeks, we anticipate more policymakers will participate in this important dialogue with readers, as the issue of mandatory budget cuts once again takes center stage and the presidential election approaches.

Sequestration Q&A: US Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., has served Florida's 21st congressional district since 2011. He is chairman and a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, founder of the Protecting Families Online Initiative and a founding member of the Washington Waste Watchers.

He also sits on the Committee of Appropriations and the subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, among other committees.

HispanicBusiness: In your view, is there a significant risk that the U.S. economy will slip into another recession if a budget agreement is not reached soon?

Mario Diaz-Balart: There is no doubt that the U.S. is heading in that direction unless an agreement is reached. Just last month, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report showing that pending tax increases and spending cuts will result in another economic recession and drive the unemployment rate above 9 percent by the end of 2013.

According to the CBO, the U.S. economy will contract by nearly 3 percent at an annual rate in the first half of 2013, and real GDP will contract by 0.5 percent for the entire year.

HB: Are you willing to support a bipartisan compromise agreement that spares severe cuts to defense and other federally supported programs that traditionally help spur economic growth?

MD-B: I'm always willing to work with my colleagues to find common-sense solutions to the problems facing our country. However, only the Republican-led House has passed legislation to avoid the pending recession by stopping the tax hike and replacing the sequestration with common-sense spending reductions.

The president and Senate have yet to pass or even propose a credible plan to address this. It is impossible to reach common ground when only one side can present a solution.

We need the president and the Senate to work with the House to avoid the pending fiscal cliff.

Sequestration Q&A: US Rep. Raul Grijalva

Sequestration Q&A: Sen. Marco Rubio

Sequestration Q&A: US Rep. Linda Sanchez

Sequestration Q&A: US Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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