22 March 2017
NYT: Trump won one key vote by pledging to revisit Cuba policy. The president told Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) that he'd stick to his promise to potentially reverse former President Barack Obama’s opening with Cuba, the NYT reports.
That pledge secured Diaz-Balart's vote in the House Budget Committee hearing last week — and it turned out to be crucial, given that Republicans only passed the bill out of the budget committee on a 19-17 vote.
22 March 2017
By Sergio Bustos
MIAMI — In exchange for his support in favor of the GOP American Health Care Act, Republican South Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart sought President Donald Trump’s promise to reverse former President Barack Obama’s policies toward Cuba, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
But Diaz-Balart refuted the Times reporting, saying it’s “categorically and factually incorrect.”
“Once again, the New York Times is categorically and factually incorrect in their reporting,” he said in an emailed statement to POLITICO Florida. “If they had done their basic journalistic duty and placed a simple, 30 second call to my office, they would have known their facts were wrong.”
The newspaper, quoting an unnamed White House official, said Diaz-Balart wanted assurances that Trump would keep his pledge on Cuba. The congressman was critical of Obama’s opening of diplomatic and economic relations with the Cuba.
In January, Diaz-Balart condemned the Obama administration ending the longstanding wet-foot/dry-foot policy for Cubans wanting to illegally migrate to the U.S. from the communist island country. He called it a “betrayal” of the Cuban people.
"President Obama's numerous concessions and extension of diplomatic recognition to the murderous Castro regime does not constitute an achievement,” said Diaz-Balart. “To the contrary, his policy has been a succession of betrayals of America's longstanding commitment to human rights and freedom, and a betrayal of the Cuban people who have suffered under oppression for far too long.”
Diaz-Balart voted in favor the GOP health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act, as a member of the House Budget Committee. Following the vote, he said his support did not mean he was going to vote for the final bill on the House floor. It is schedule for a vote on Thursday.
The New York Times
21 March 2017
New York, New York
Trump Warns House Republicans: Repeal Health Law or Lose Your Seats
Excerpts.... "For other House members, the health bill has been an opportunity to deal. As part of the discussions, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, made it clear to White House officials that he wanted assurances that the president would hold to his pledge to consider reversing President Barack Obama’s opening with Cuba, the White House official said. Mr. Diaz-Balart backed the measure in the Budget Committee last week, although the official said there had been no explicit discussion of trading his vote for a promise on Cuba.
Correction: March 22, 2017
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that a White House official said President Trump had promised Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, to hold to his pledge to consider reversing President Barack Obama’s opening with Cuba if Mr. Diaz-Balart backed the health care measure. The official said that Mr. Diaz-Balart had made it clear to the White House that he wanted assurances that Mr. Trump would keep that promise, but he never spoke to the president and there was no explicit discussion of trading his vote on the health measure for it."