House Attempts to Block Cuban Travel Likely To Face Veto
PHOTO: Havana, pictured, largely off-limits to Americans for decades, is finally seeing a chance of attracting tourists from the U.S. (Photo by David Cogswell)
A recent attempt by members of the House of Representatives to block new cruises and flights to Cuba won’t likely get far, according to a recent statement from the White House.
Republican congressmen have attached new Cuba restrictions to a major transportation bill (H.R. 2577), but a statement from the White House indicates that President Obama will wield his veto pen if the bill contains such limitations on travel to Cuba and other inclusions the White House deems objectionable.
Republican Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart introduced legislation to block new flights or cruise departures to Cuba saying that the travel violates the Cuban travel ban, which is based on the broader U.S. embargo of Cuba in place since the early 1960s.
The embargo cannot be removed without an act of Congress. But Obama has begun relaxing relations with Cuba through executive powers he can exercise without congressional action.
Limitations on travel to Cuba were not the only reasons stated for White House opposition to the transportation bill.
According to a statement from the White House released June 1, “…the legislation includes highly objectionable provisions, including provisions that would restrict travel to Cuba, undercut public safety, and limit State and local choices to enhance passenger rail. If the President were presented with H.R. 2577, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”
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