Freedom to Travel to Cuba: Get Your Rep. Off the Fence!
We asked them at the beginning of the 111th Congress if they'd support U.S. citizens' freedom to travel to Cuba. And again when Reps. Delahunt (D-MA) and Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act in April 2009. And again when we were joined by our supporters in storming the Hill for CubaGo! in September 2009. And again when Agriculture Committee Chairman Peterson (D-MN) and Rep. Moran (R-KS) put forward the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act in February 2010. And again when... well, you get the idea.
Can you guess what we heard each time? "We're still considering it." "We need to 'circle back' with our district." "We haven't reached a decision yet." Yadda, yadda, yadda.
The fence-sitters in Congress are becoming increasingly reminiscent of the characters on Seinfeld who spent much of their time in a NYC diner endlessly debating mundane topics while astutely putting off any decisions. It made for very entertaining TV, but it doesn't make for very effective legislating.
Ag Committee Chairman Peterson continues to cajole his undecided committee colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, which would restore U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba and cut through some of the red tape that today keeps U.S. farmers from putting much food on Cubans' tables. A mark up vote to pass the bill out of the Ag Committee is likely to come in early June, soon after the Memorial Day recess. If all goes according to plan, a floor vote in the House could happen within days of the mark up.
We're doing all we can here in Washington, DC; but we need you, the constituent, to seal the deal by inundating your representative's office with messages of support for H.R. 4645. The Seinfeld-esque hemming and hawing has to stop! If your congressperson is on the list of fence-sitters provided below (scroll down to see it), email her/him today and follow up with a phone call (dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to his/her office and ask to speak to the Legislative Director). Tell your congressperson to GET OFF THE FENCE today!