Congressman Pulls Proposal to End Cuba Travel Sanctions

Friday, July 8, 2016
From Travel Weekly:

Saying it stood no chance of victory, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) on Thursday evening withdrew a proposal to end the remaining restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba.

Given the fact that the Speaker is working against this amendment, I see the handwriting on the wall so I think it is best to withdraw,” Sanford said on the House floor.

The proposal was to have been offered as an amendment to the House financial services appropriations bill, which was under debate Thursday night on the House floor.

In withdrawing the amendment, Sanford thanked his five co-sponsors as well as the approximately 130 other House members who had supported the measure.

“This amendment ultimately was about American liberty,” he said, arguing that the travel restrictions on Cuba haven’t worked to topple the Castro regime.

Though Sanford’s amendment is off the table, language that would roll back some of the steps the Obama administration has taken to open travel to Cuba remained in the financial services bill that the House was expected to vote on Thursday night.

The bill would eliminate the people-to-people travel provision used by tour operators and the Fathom cruise line to run Cuba trips. It would do so by tightening the definition of educational exchanges, one of the 12 approved categories under which Americans can travel to Cuba and the one that includes the people-to-people provision, to only include academic programs.