Michael George Glen Waltz (born January 31, 1974)[4] is an American politician and United States Army officer serving as the U.S. representative for Florida’s 6th congressional district. A member of the Republican Party, he was first elected in 2018 and succeeded Ron DeSantis, who went on to be elected the 46th governor of Florida in 2018.

Early life and education

Waltz was born in Boynton Beach, Florida, and grew up in Jacksonville.[5] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies from the Virginia Military Institute and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.[6][7]

Career

Waltz represents Florida’s 6th congressional district, which includes Flagler, Volusia, Lake, and St. Johns counties. He is a combat-decorated Green Beret still serving as a colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard,[3] and a former White House and Pentagon policy advisor. He is the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress.

Waltz graduated with honors as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the Virginia Military Institute, and has served over 26 years in the Army. After commissioning as an Army lieutenant, he graduated Ranger School and was selected to be a Green Beret, serving worldwide as a Special Forces officer with multiple tours in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. For his actions in combat, Waltz was decorated with four Bronze Stars, including two for valor.[8]

Waltz worked in the Pentagon as a defense policy director for Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates. He went on to serve in the White House as the vice president’s counterterrorism advisor.[9] Waltz wrote “Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret’s Battles from Washington to Afghanistan.”[10]

In 2010, Waltz helped found the analytics and training company Metis Solutions. It was bought in November 2020 by Pacific Architects and Engineers for $92 million.[11]

Political positions

War in Afghanistan

After telling an anecdote to the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference audience about his time serving in Afghanistan during the public announcement of the Obama-era troop withdrawals, Waltz said of the War in Afghanistan, “So, are we 15 years in? Yes. Are we in for a lot more fighting and do we need a long-term strategy to undermine the ideology of Islamic extremism—just like we did fascism and just like we did communism? Yes, we do. Uh, and you know, I think we’re in for a long haul and I think our nation’s leadership needs to begin telling the American people, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have a choice, we’re 15 years in to what is going to be a multi-generational war because we’re talking about defeating an idea.’ It’s easy to bomb a tank, very difficult to defeat an idea and that’s exactly what we have to do.” After his statement, a CPAC audience member disrupted the panel, shouting “It’s impossible”.[12]

China Communist Party

Waltz is considered one of Congress’s most hawkish members with regard to China, saying, “We are in a Cold War with the Chinese Communist Party.”[13] In 2021, he was the first member of Congress to call for a full U.S. boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics over the CCP’s genocide and internment of Chinese Uyghur populations and the enslavement, forced labor, and concentration camp of ethnic minorities in China.[14]

Waltz serves on the House China Task Force[15] with 15 Republican lawmakers representing 14 committees of jurisdiction to coordinate policy on China. The Task Force collaborated and released the China Task Force report. The CTF issued a final report that includes 82 key findings and more than 400 forward-leaning recommendations to addressing the China threat.[16]

In the 116th Congress, Waltz sponsored the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020[17] to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals and bringing the U.S. supply chain from China back to America by establishing a critical mineral research and development program at the Department of Energy, which was signed into law in Section 7002 of Division Z in the FY21 appropriations bill.[18]

Waltz has also pioneered legislation to secure American universities and academies from Chinese espionage.[19] In 2020, he secured legislation that provides a universal requirement, for all agencies, for researchers to disclosure all foreign funding sources in applications for federal funding. Failure would result in permanent termination of research and developments awards to the professor or school, permanent debarment of malign professors, and criminal charges.[20]

Further, Waltz directed the Department of Defense to track foreign talent recruitment programs that pose a threat to the United States, particularly as a response to China Communist Party efforts to infiltrate American universities.[20]

Waltz also sponsored legislation[21] to ensure the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not invest in Chinese or Russian markets. Weeks later, President Trump directed the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board[22] to reverse their decision to expand TSP investments.

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2018

Waltz ran for Florida’s 6th congressional district in 2018 to succeed incumbent Republican Ron DeSantis, who retired before being elected governor of Florida.[23][24] He defeated John Ward and Fred Costello in the Republican primary[25] before facing Democratic nominee Nancy Soderberg, a former representative at the United Nations and the former Deputy National Security Advisor, in the general election.[26] Waltz won with 56.31% of the vote to Soderberg’s 43.69%.[27]

2020

Waltz was challenged by Democratic nominee Clint Curtis. He received 265,393 votes (60.64%) to Curtis’s 172,305 (39.36%).[28]

Tenure

Waltz was sworn in to the 116th United States Congress on January 3, 2019.

In April 2020, Waltz joined the National Guard’s COVID-19 response efforts as a colonel on the planning staff.[29] On November 6, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he tested positive for the virus.[30]

In December 2020, Waltz was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[31] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[32][33][34] Shortly thereafter, the Orlando Sentinel editorial board rescinded its endorsement of Waltz in the 2020 election.[35] It wrote, “We had no idea, had no way of knowing at the time, that Waltz was not committed to democracy.”[35][36]

Along with all other Senate and House Republicans, Waltz voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[37]

On May 19, 2021, Waltz voted against legislation to establish the formation of a January 6 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[38]

Foreign policy

In 2020, Waltz voted for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, which would prevent the president from withdrawing soldiers from Afghanistan without congressional approval.[39]

In August 2021, Waltz called on President Biden to reverse course on the War in Afghanistan. In 2010, Waltz helped found Metis Solutions, a defense contractor that “provides strategic analysis, intelligence support, and training”, with offices in Arlington, Virginia; Tampa, Florida; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Kabul, Afghanistan. Waltz sold Metis Solutions in 2020.[40]

Draft

Waltz voted to include provisions for drafting women in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022.[41]

Immigration

Waltz voted for the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1158) which effectively prohibits ICE from cooperating with Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of unaccompanied alien children (UACs).[42]

LGBT rights

On July 19, 2022, Waltz and 46 other Republican Representatives voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the right to same-sex marriage in federal law.[43]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Waltz is a member of the following Congressional caucuses.[46][47]

Electoral history

Florida’s 6th congressional district Republican primary, 2018[62]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Michael Waltz 32,833 42.4
RepublicanJohn Ward23,54330.4
RepublicanFred Costello21,02327.2
Total votes77,399 100.0
Florida’s 6th congressional district, 2018[63]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Michael Waltz 187,891 56.3
DemocraticNancy Soderberg145,75843.7
Total votes333,649 100.0
Republican hold
Florida’s 6th congressional district, 2020[64]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Michael Waltz 265,393 60.6
DemocraticClint Curtis172,30539.4
N/AWrite-ins158<0.1
Total votes437,856 100.0
Republican hold

Personal life

Waltz has a teenage daughter and is married to Julia Nesheiwat,[1] a combat veteran who served in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, most recently as Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor. Waltz and Nesheiwat also have a child together.[2] They live in St. Johns County.

Books

References

  1. ^ a b Schorsch, Peter (September 17, 2021). “Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 9.17.21”. Florida Politics. Extensive-Enterprise. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Fineout, Gary (January 11, 2022). “Ready to rumble: 5 big questions for the 2022 session”. Politico. Politico LLC. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Harper, Mark. “Congressman Michael Waltz promoted to Army National Guard colonel”. Daytona Beach News-Journal Online.
  4. ^ Perks, Ashley (November 15, 2018). “Florida New Members 2019”. TheHill.
  5. ^ “Biography | U.S. Representative Mike Waltz”. waltz.house.gov.
  6. ^ Buswell, Brent. “VMI Grad Elected to U.S. Congress”. Kappa Alpha Order. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  7. ^ “Representative Michael Waltz”. Representative Michael Waltz. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  8. ^ “Combat Veterans For Congress | Electing Fiscal Conservatives”. combatveteransforcongress.org.
  9. ^ “In the House”. National Guard Association of the United States.
  10. ^ Waltz, Michael G. (2014). Warrior Diplomat. University of Nebraska Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctt1d9nmt5. ISBN 9781612346311. JSTOR j.ctt1d9nmt5.
  11. ^ Fang, Lee (August 20, 2021). “Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting”. The Intercept. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  12. ^ Chang, Gordon. “CPAC 2017 – When did World War III Begin? Part B”. YouTube. American Conservative Union. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  13. ^ “Michael Waltz: We are in a cold war with the Chinese Communist Party”. April 14, 2021.
  14. ^ “Congressman Michael Waltz: Boycott 2022 Olympic Games in China”.
  15. ^ “McCaul Announces China Task Force Pillars and Co-Chairs”.
  16. ^ https://gop-foreignaffairs.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CHINA-TASK-FORCE-REPORT-FINAL-9.30.20.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  17. ^ “H.R.7061 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020”. June 26, 2020.
  18. ^ https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20201221/BILLS-116HR133SA-RCP-116-68.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  19. ^ “Rep. Michael Waltz: Chinese infiltration of US colleges results in massive theft of our research”. Fox News. May 6, 2020.
  20. ^ a b https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20201207/CRPT-116hrpt617.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  21. ^ “Cosponsors – H.R.6614 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): TSP Act”. April 23, 2020.
  22. ^ https://federalnewsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/051220_scalia_frtib_letter_FNN.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  23. ^ “Republican Michael Waltz wins open Florida House seat, keeping 6th District in GOP control”. SFGate. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  24. ^ “Special forces: How Mike Waltz defeated the national left – Florida Politics”. floridapolitics.com. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  25. ^ “2018 Florida primary election results”. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  26. ^ Piggott, Jim (July 12, 2017). “Former UN ambassador to run for Congress”. WJXT. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  27. ^ “2018 Florida general election results”. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  28. ^ Harper, Mark (November 3, 2020). “Michael Waltz wins 2nd term in Congress; his District 6 includes Volusia, Flagler”. Daytona Beach News-Journal Online. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  29. ^ “These National Guard members also serve in Congress. Now they’re fighting COVID-19”. Roll Call. April 4, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  30. ^ “Rep. Mike Waltz Tests Positive for COVID-19”. www.mynews13.com. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  31. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). “Biden officially secures enough electors to become president”. AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  32. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). “Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  33. ^ “Order in Pending Case” (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  34. ^ Diaz, Daniella. “Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court”. CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  35. ^ a b Board, Orlando Sentinel Editorial. “We apologize for endorsing U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, who wants to overturn the election | Editorial”. orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  36. ^ reports, Staff and wire. “Waltz, Webster are among 106 Republicans who signed onto lawsuit to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory”. orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  37. ^ Carl Hulse (March 6, 2021). “After Stimulus Victory in Senate, Reality Sinks in: Bipartisanship Is Dead”. New York Times.
  38. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (May 19, 2021). “Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission”. CNN. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  39. ^ “H.R. 6395: William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act … — House Vote #152 — Jul 21, 2020”. GovTrack.us.
  40. ^ “Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting”. August 20, 2021.
  41. ^ “House panel backs making women register for draft”. September 2, 2021.
  42. ^ “H.R. 1158: DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act … — House Vote #690 — Dec 17, 2019”.
  43. ^ Schnell, Mychael (July 19, 2022). “These are the 47 House Republicans who voted for a bill protecting marriage equality”. The Hill. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  44. ^ “Waltz Named House Subcommittee Ranking Member”. Congressman Mike Waltz. February 11, 2021.
  45. ^ Seligman, Lara. ‘The 21st-Century Space Race Is On’.
  46. ^ “Caucuses — U.S. Representative Mike Waltz”. waltz.house.gov. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  47. ^ “US Representative Mike Waltz —Committee Assignments”. Capitol Impact. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  48. ^ “Army Caucus”. Rep. John Carter. May 27, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  49. ^ “Florida Ports Caucus”. www.ciclt.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  50. ^ “For Country Caucus— Summary from LegiStorm”. LegiStorm. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  51. ^ “For Country Caucus”. vantaylor.house.gov.
  52. ^ “Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz re-enact D-Day parachute drop into Normandy”. Roll Call. June 10, 2019.
  53. ^ “US Kurdish-American Caucus”. www.ciclt.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  54. ^ “Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus”. www.ciclt.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  55. ^ “Membership”. Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  56. ^ “House Special Operations Forces (SOF) Caucus”. www.ciclt.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  57. ^ “US Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus”. www.ciclt.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  58. ^ “Congressional Singapore Caucus”. www.ciclt.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  59. ^ “House Taiwan Caucus”. Formosan Association for Public Affairs. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  60. ^ “MEMBERS”. RMSP. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  61. ^ “The Women, Peace and Security Congressional Caucus”. www.oursecurefuture.org.
  62. ^ “Florida Primary Election Results: Sixth House District”. The New York Times. August 30, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  63. ^ “Florida Election Results: Sixth House District”. The New York Times. January 28, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  64. ^ “Florida Election Results: Sixth Congressional District”. The New York Times. November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida’s 6th congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
354th
Succeeded by