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Cuba Working Group in the House of Representatives

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In a show of growing interest to see changes made to US policy towards Cuba, a “Cuba Working Group” of 17 Republicans and 17 Democrats emerged in the House of Representatives. Group membership has since expanded to 44 members, evenly divided between the parties, and representing 23 different states. The members of this group have asserted that the embargo is a 40 year old failed policy, and have taken a stand against the Bush administration’s attempts to further isolate the nation. The goals of this group, like many of those who have been working in the LAWG coalition, is to see an end to all restrictions on the sale of food and medicine to Cuba and an opening of travel for all Americans, as a “step-by-step” loosening of the trade embargo.

It is our understanding that while the original group has 34 members, that quite a number more have contacted the group about joining. The group is seeking to expand its membership, however to do so slowly and carefully to maintain a parity that will most benefit their interests. The creation of this group not only makes a strong statement from within Congress about the direction of US/Cuba policy reform, but shows a level of initiative from within Congress never before seen on this issue.

Members of the Congressional Cuba Working Group (CWG) as of 6/10/02:

Democrats

William Delahunt – MA
Tim Roemer – IN
Neil Abercrombie – HI
Howard Berman – CA
Marion Berry – AR
William Clay – MO
Peter DeFazio – OR
Sam Farr – CA
Nick Lampson – TX
Stephen Lynch – MA
Jim McGovern – MA
Collin Peterson – MN
Charles Rangel – NY
Vic Snyder – AR
Hilda Solis – CA
Mike Thompson – CA
Charlie Stenholm – TX
Mike Ross – AR
Cal Dooley – CA
John Tanner – TN
Edolphus Towns – NY
Tammy Baldwin – WI

Republicans

George Nethercutt- WA
Jo Ann Emerson – MO
Jeff Flake – AZ
John Boozman – AR
Kevin Brady – TX
Ray LaHood – IL
Jim Leach – IA
Jerry Moran – KS
Tom Osborne – NE
Butch Otter – ID
Ron Paul – TX
Jim Ramstad – MN
Dennis Rehberg – MT
Chris Shays – CT
Nick Smith – MI
John Thune – SD
Wally Herger – CA
Sam Graves – MO
Tim Johnson – IL
John Shimkus – IL
Dave Camp – MI
Paul Ryan – WI