Today, August 25, three key congresspersons sent a letter to President Obama lauding the rumors (that we believe are substantiated) that his administration is on the brink of an announcement easing the ban on travel to Cuba – which is within the executive purview of the President (both President Clinton and President Bush took advantage of the authority of the executive to revise and reinterpret the regulations governing travel to Cuba by limited categories of U.S. citizens).
We join in that affirmation of the President’s apparent intentions. Most importantly, in their letter Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) urged President Obama “to go even further and voice your support for H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act.” This is the bill that is making its way through the House of Representatives and which LAWG and our partners have been promoting for the past year. It builds on the “travel for all” legislation that Reps. Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced nearly two years ago (H.R. 874), adding two significant agriculture fixes to the end-the-travel-ban language. H.R. 4645 is critical to actually changing the law governing travel to Cuba, and not simply revising the regulations that prevent us from traveling to Cuba freely, as we can to every other country on the face of the globe. You may see a copy of the letter sent to the President here.
Thank you, Reps. McGovern, Emerson, and DeLauro! They recognize that, while the President’s potential action is important and very welcome, its most significant aspect would be to give a green light to Congress to finish the job and change the law, which the President is unable to do.
You are able to play a role in this effort by signing a petition that we have posted on the change.org website, here. Your signature on the petition results in an email sent to your representative urging her/his support of H.R. 4645 – to bring some sanity to our outdated and damaging Cuba policy. Signers of the petition to date have sent 10,572 emails to members of Congress, instructing them to carry out the will of their constituents and end the travel ban on Cuba. Please join us by adding your name to this growing list!
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