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Marco Rubio's effort to thwart Obama Cuba policy is grounded -- for now

The Florida Senator's effort to block the Obama administration's planned expansion of travel to Cuba won't be taken up by the Senate -- though Rubio vows to keep trying.

He and Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez had hoped to attach an amendment to a Federal Aviation Authority bill that would have blocked flights to countries that U.S. says sponsor terrorism -- such as Cuba. But the amendment won't be voted on.

"Nonetheless," says Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos, "If the administration insists on pursuing its flawed policy to expand direct flights with state sponsors of terrorism, Senator Rubio will continue offering this bi-partisan measure to stop it."

Tampa International Airport is among the airports interested in hosting increased flights to Cuba and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce fired off a letter to Rubio, asking him to withdraw his amendment which it says is "a step backward from progress achieved earlier this year. His proposal to halt any expanded flight service to Cuba is unfair to those businesses and Cuban-Americans who must bare the undue financial burden and inconvenience of having to travel through Miami.

"Tampa International Airport is prepared to take advantage of expanded flight service, but Senator Rubio’s amendment maintains the status quo of Miami’s monopoly on this economic generator."