- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
name = Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
date of birth = birth date and age|1952|07|15
place of birth =
district = 18th
August 28, 1989
succeeded = Incumbent
religion = Episcopalian
party = Republican
Miami Dade College, Florida International University, University of Miami
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (also known as Ileana Ros; born Ileana Ros y Adato
July 15 1952) is a Republican United States Representativefor ushr|Florida|18| [ [http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/preview/congdist/fl18_109.gif] ,] having held that office since 1989. She is currently the most senior Republican woman in the United States Congress. Ros-Lehtinen is the Ranking memberon the House Foreign Affairs Committee for the 110th Congress.
She was born in
Havana, Cubato Enrique Rosand his wife, Amanda Adato; was educated at Florida International Universitywhere she received a BA in Education and an MA in Educational Leadership, and also attended the University of Miamiwhere she received a PhD in Higher Education [ [http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=26815] ] . She was a member of the Florida House of Representativesfrom 1982 to 1986, and was then a one-term member of the Florida Senatebefore entering the House.
Prior to entering political life, Ros-Lehtinen was an educator and the owner/operator of a private school in Miami-Dade County. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/11/AR2007041100168.html] .] Upon her election to succeed the late Congressman
Claude Pepper, she became the first Cuban Americancongresswoman elected to the United States Congress.
Although earlier biographies listed her religious affiliation as
Roman Catholic,Fact|date=March 2008 she no longer makes reference to her religion in her official biography. [ [http://www.house.gov/ros-lehtinen/biography.shtml] ] Project Vote Smart lists Ros-Lehtinen as Episcopalian. [ [http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=26815] ] Ros-Lehtinen’s maternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews from Turkey who had been active in Cuba’s Jewish community. [ [http://www.thejewishadvocate.com/this_weeks_issue/news/?content_id=1250] ] Her mother was JewishFact|date=March 2008 but converted to Catholicism.
Ros-Lehtinen is a Republican, although she sides with the Democrats on one social issue: gay rights. She supports anti-
hate crimelaws, anti-discrimination bills, believes gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the armed forces, voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, and is one of two Republican members of the LGBT congressional caucus. [ [http://thehill.com/cover-stories/the-lonely-two-2008-08-05.html] ] She is considered conservative on foreign, economic, and other social policy. Ros-Lehtinen is a supporter of President Bush's surge policy in Iraq, a supporter of Israeland supports continued sanctions against Cuba.
Among Ros-Lehtinen's other conservative views include votes against the estate tax on the wealthy, votes in favor of President Bush's tax cuts, for fuel efficiency standards on autos, drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, support of the
Central American Free Trade Agreement(CAFTA), votes in favor of making the Patriot Act permanent, support of the Military Commissions Act, votes against funding for stem cell research, and votes against SCHIP.
She is also a frequent guest on
Real Time with Bill Maher.
*Committee on Foreign Affairs (Ranking Member)
*Co-Chair, Congressional Vision Caucus
*Co-Chair, National Marine Sanctuary Caucus
Iraq: “Whether or not there is a direct link to the World Trade Center does not mean that Iraq is not meritorious of shedding blood. The common link is that they hate America.” [ [http://www.thehill.com/news/061704/finding.aspx] ]
State Department Passport Controversy: Ros-Lehtinen recently pressured the State Department to accelerate its processing of passports, something that had hindered American citizens’ travel during the crucial summer travel season. Calling the delay “outrageous, incomprehensible, unconscionable” at a hearing of the House Foreign Affair Committee, where she is Ranking Member, Ros-Lehtinen brought the pressure of committee Republicans to bear on the State Department and spur them to action. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20286586/] ]
Darfur: This summer, Ros-Lehtinen joined Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on a Congressional delegation to the United Nations in order to encourage international support for an end to the genocide in Darfur. In addition, Ros-Lehtinen returned from a trip to Darfur in April 2007 where she visited Sudanese refugee camps. Ros-Lehtinen returned and strongly encouraged the United States and the international community to find a solution to this humanitarian crisis. [ [http://foreignaffairs.republicans.house.gov/apps/list/press/foreignaffairs_rep/pr_070404_darfur.shtml] ] [ [http://foreignaffairs.republicans.house.gov/apps/list/press/foreignaffairs_rep/070723undarfur.shtml] ]
Miami River: During her tenure in Congress, Ros-Lehtinen has been successful in championing the issue of the Miami River. In July 2007, she signed a mock check for $20.5 million, much of it federal funds in addition to state and local money, in order to resume the dredging of the Miami River. [ [http://www.house.gov/list/press/fl18_ros-lehtinen/CBS4MiamiRiverCleanUp.html] ]
Aquarius Dive: Recently, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen participated in a scuba dive down to the underwater Aquarius Habitat where she joined in a live underwater broadcast shown directly to 3rd through 6th graders at an Islamorada Montessori School on how to preserve coral reefs in the Florida Keys. [ [http://www.house.gov/list/press/fl18_ros-lehtinen/ScubaMarathon.html] ]
WRDA: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen voted for the Water Resources Development Act. This bill will provide for extensive environmental development and restoration projects. It also provides assistance for South Florida's coral reefs and the Miami River. [ [http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll234.xml] ]
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen plays a prominent role in the
Cuban-American lobby, which aims to put pressure on the Cuban government and encourage political change on the island. She is a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus. She is the daughter of Enrique Ros, a Florida based Cuban business man and anti-Fidel Castro activist and Amanda Adato. Ros-Lehtinen also advances strongly held views on Cuba, and has lobbied against ending the United States embargo against that country. In 2004 she formed the Cuba Democracy Group aimed at curtailing U.S. agriculture exports and preventing U.S. banks from doing business with the Cuban government. [ [http://www.cubacentral.com/todaysnewsdetail.cfm?ID=691 Election galvanizes Cuba embargo backers] . Cuba central.]
Ros-Lehtinen has defended former fugitive Velentin Hernández, convicted of murdering Luciano Nieves, a fellow
Cuban exilewho supported negotiations with the Cuban government, [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58297-2005Apr16.html Our Man's in Miami] . Patriot or Terrorist? Washington Post. April 17, 2005.] In the 1980s Ros-Lehtinen lobbied for the release and pardon of Cuban exile Orlando Bosch, who had been convicted of terrorist acts and has also been accused of involvement in the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455, which killed 73 people, helping organize an "Orlando Bosch day" to gain support for his release. [ [http://dir.salon.com/story/politics/feature/2002/01/11/reich/index.html?pn=6 The ghost of terror past] . Salon.com] [ [http://www.ciponline.org/cuba/opeds/who%20is%20a%20terrorist.htm Who is a terrorist?] South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Wayne S. Smith. May 31, 2002] [ [http://www.cubaupdate.org/cu0404_09.htm Congressman Diaz-Balart Says U.S. Should Consider Assassination of Fidel Castro] . Wayne Smith. CIP senior fellow. March 31, 2004] Ros-Lehtinen played a prominent role in the failed attempt by relatives of Elian Gonzalezto gain custody of six year old from his Cuban father, describing Cuba as "that system of godless communism". [ [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0005/11/cf.00.html Who Should Decide the Destiny of Elian Gonzalez] . CNN transcripts.] She also attempted to block Jimmy Carter's visit to the island in 2002. [Ann Louise Bardach. "Cuba confidential". p351. "Ignoring the growls of the Reich team and attempts by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balartto block the visit, the Bush administration reluctantly granted approval"] [ [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0203/22/cf.00.html Will Jimmy Carter Become First President to Visit Castro in Cuba?] CNN transcripts. ]
Calls to assassinate Fidel Castro
Ros-Lehtinen stirred controversy by calling for the assassination of Cuban Leader
Fidel Castro. She appears in the British documentary " 638 Ways to Kill Castro", saying: "I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people." After a 28-second clip began circulating on the Internet, the Havana-born lawmaker claimed the filmmakers spliced clips together to get the sound bite. Twenty-four hours after the controversy erupted, director Dollan Cannell sent unedited tapes of his interview with Ros-Lehtinen to reporters. [ [http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/12/23/220652.shtml?s=ic Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Admits 'Kill Castro' remark] Newsmax] The uncut version contradicted Ros-Lehtinen's response and showed that she had twice welcomed an attempt on Castro's life. Though she attempted to distance herself from her denial, filmmaker Cannell requested an apology, which has not been forthcoming. [http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/16278450.htm Tape contradicts Ros-Lehtinen] . Miami Herald.]
Position on 2008 "Bailout"
On September 29, 2008, Ros-Lehtinen voted against the
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008cite web|title= Bailout Roll Call | url= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/bailout.rollcall.0929.pdf| date= 2008-09-29 Retrieved on September 29, 2008] , and on October 03, 2008, Ros-Lehtinen voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008cite web|title= FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681 | url=http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll681.xml| date= 2008-10-03 Retrieved on October 03, 2008]
Notable Staff members or Interns
Rene Garcia, member of the Florida House of Representativesand former intern
Enrique Pollack, host and founder of "Havana Rock," the Miami, Florida show on radio station WWFE 670 AM and former Congressional Aide
Marco Rubio, Speaker of the Florida House of Representativesand former intern
Mauricio J. Tamargo, 14th Chairman of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commissionand former Chief of Staff
* [http://www.house.gov/ros-lehtinen/ Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen] official U.S. House site
* [http://www.ros-lehtinenforcongress.com/ Re-Elect Ileana Ros-Lehtinen] official campaign website
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