Congress Debates Easing Cuba Travel Restrictions

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2009 10:08 AM CST
A member of Pastors for Peace carries a box of humanitarian aid at Havana's airport. The new bill would make it easier for Americans to deliver supplies to Cuba.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A bill pending in the US House includes a provision relaxing travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans who wish to visit Cuba by slicing out funding for enforcement of a 2004 law, the Miami Herald reports. The bill, which will likely see a vote today, allows annual visits rather than one every 3 years, and permits easier access for Americans with business in Cuba.

The bill faced a possible presidential veto when it was drafted last year, but President Obama campaigned on his support of relaxing restrictions. Though the measure faces stiff opposition in the House, Nancy Pelosi has forbidden votes on specific amendments to the budget bill. One GOP representative called the move “blatantly undemocratic.” Opposition in the Senate could well stop the bill there.