A House subcommittee (Financial Services) on June 17th added language to the appropriations bill that would ease travel restrictions for Cuban Americans wishing to visit family and would facilitate agricultural sales to Cuba. The result of the subcommittee meeting is an appropriations bill that allows for Cuban Americans to travel to Cuba once per year and expands the definition of family to include cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Get more details from this Reuters article http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN1738649220080617 Or in Rep. Serrano’s words: “This mark also includes provisions to liberalize travel to Cuba for Americans who have family members living in that nation. There is no reason to place harsh restrictions on those who simply wish to visit close family members. In addition, the bill contains a provision to facilitate agricultural trade with Cuba, allowing more American farmers to sell their products to Cuba.”
This language in the legislation is only the beginning. This is a very modest effort, but it is extremely important that it not lose! It paves the way for broader changes that are what we and you really want. The message that would be sent if these provisions lose would be harmful to our work for real change next year.
The real work starts now, and it starts with us! We have to work to get this bill on the floor, and to do so we have to make our voice heard on Capitol Hill! The first step is getting it passed by the full Appropriations Committee, which will meet sometime next week. We must urge members on that committee to vote in favor of Representative Serrano’s Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations bill so it reaches the floor. See a full list of committee members here http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml Check it out to see if your representative is on this committee. If so, we need you!
We have selected a number of members in particular that need strong encouragement. This list includes:
* Rodney Alexander (R) LA-5 (Alexandria, Monroe areas) tel. 202.225.8490
* Jo Bonner (R) AL-1 (Mobile, Foley areas) tel. 202.225.4931
* Allen Boyd (D) FL-2 (Tallahassee, Panama City areas) 202.225.5235
* Chet Edwards (D) TX-17 (Waco, College Station areas) 202.225.6105
* Jack Kingston (R) GA-1 (Savannah, Brunswick, Baxley, Valdosta areas) 202.225.5831
* John Peterson (R) PA-5 (State College, Titusville areas) 202.225.2565
* Dennis Rehberg (R) MT-At large (full state) 202.225.3211
* Ciro Rodriguez (D) TX-23 (San Antonio area) 202.225.4511
* Steven Rothman (D) NJ-9 (Hackensack, Jersey City areas) 202.225.5061
* Tim Ryan (D) OH-17 (Youngstown, Akron, Warren areas) 202.225.5261
* Adam Schiff (D) CA-29 (Pasadena area) 202.225.4176
* Zach Wamp (R) TN-3 (Chattanooga, Oak Ridge areas) 202.225.3271
* Frank Wolf (R) VA-10 (Herndon, Winchester areas) 202.225.5136
We urge advocates from these districts contact your members and ask them to support Rep.Serrano’s Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations Bill. Call the Washington office, ask for the foreign policy aide, and request that the congressperson vote in favor of the Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations Bill to be considered next week in full committee. Call today!
And, if you aren’t in any of the target districts but know people in these districts, PLEASE pass on this information and ask these constituents to call.
The list above is made up of what we consider priority members to contact, but any member on the full committee should be strongly encouraged to vote in favor of Rep. Serrano’s Cuba provisions. So, if your member is on the committee list (http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml ) but not one of the targets, we still encourage you to contact him/her.
Action: Advocates with Members on the Appropriations Committee contact your member and urge them to support Rep. Serrano's Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations Bill!