Dems, State Dept near resolution on Cuba money
- Submitted by: manso
- Politics and Government
- 07 / 15 / 2011
By DONNA CASSATA and DESMOND BUTLER, Associated Press.July 14, 2011 11:52 AM. Thursday, July 14, 2011. 07-14) 11:52 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --Two top Senate Democrats and the Obama administration are close to ending a monthslong impasse over $20 million targeted for programs to promote democracy in communist Cuba.
Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and Sen. Patrick Leahy, who heads the Appropriations subcommittee overseeing foreign aid, had blocked the money over concerns that it wasn't helping the Cuban people and instead had provoked Raul Castro's government.
Kerry said Thursday he was working with the State Department to resolve the dispute. Another Democrat concerned about maintaining the programs — Sen. Bob Menendez — said a deal was imminent.
The issue could have political ramifications for the 2012 elections. It also had pushed some private congressional spats over the programs into the public.