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Another take on the scrapped Cuba vote: Not enough votes to lift the travel ban?

The Hill posits that it was a shortage of lawmakers who would vote in favor that doomed consideration of legislation to lift the travel ban to Cuba: "The House Foreign Affairs Committee had scheduled a Wednesday markup on Rep. Collin Peterson’s (D-Minn.) measure, which was approved by Peterson’s Agriculture panel earlier this year. But the markup on Tuesday was postponed.

"Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) has been trying to secure 24 votes on the 47-member panel to approve the bill, but an analysis by The Hill shows only 16 members have publicly committed to it."

Other blogs have speculated that the powerful Cuban American political action committee that backs the restrictions played a role.


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John McAuliff

The Hill's position is absurd. Sponsorship is not the same as support for the bill.

I posted the following to their comments twice, but they have not deigned to publish it:

There is no evidence contained in this article to sustain the reporters' view that the mark-up was postponed because travel reform proponents lacked votes.

Members of the Committee who had not cosponsored travel legislation were prepared to support it in mark-up, among them Ackerman from New York.

On its face Chairman Berman's explanation is credible, given the now aborted session. At 12:30 on Wednesday, for example, there was a recorded vote on the Democratic motion to adjourn which the Republicans vociferously opposed. The rest of the day was devoted to a series of votes and debates on legislation that had to be passed before they went home that night.

It is also possible Berman received commitments of favorable votes after the mid-term election.

In any case, the spotlight now goes to the White House and its long reported reform of regulations governing non-tourist people to people travel. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz boasts of having blocked that as well.

Perhaps the President will want to remind us of why so many of us preferred him as the candidate and then elected him.

Further thoughts at http://www.thehavananote.com/2010/09/where_do_we_go_here

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

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