Obama standing firm on eased travel
- Submitted by: manso
- Politics and Government
- 07 / 16 / 2011
In a statement to Congress, President Barack Obama said he would veto a House appropriations bill if it includes, among others, a measure inserted by anti-Castro representatives that would revert eased family travel and remittance rules introduced by Obama in 2009.
With this Statement of Administration Policy, which provides Congress with the White House’s views on the House appropriations bill, H.R. 2434, Obama raises his Cuba policy of moderate steps towards detente to a higher-priority level.
The bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee on June 23, includes an amendment inserted by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami) that would restrict Cuban-American family travel and remittances to Cuba.
“The Administration strongly opposes a number of provisions in this bill,” the statement says, adding that this includes reversing “current policies on Cuba.” “If the President is presented with [this bill] …, his senior advisors would recommend a veto.”
Typically, committee chairmen remove controversial amendments under a presidential veto threat.
The presidential statement “signifies a monumental step for the White House,” said the pro-normalization Latin America Working Group (LAWG) in a statement to supporters. “U.S. policy towards Cuba has routinely been dubbed as a low-priority issue by previous Administrations and Congress. But since Obama delivered upon his campaign promise to allow unrestricted family travel to Cuba in 2009, this move by Diaz-Balart is interpreted as a challenge to the White House’s Cuba policy.”