Senators try to revive Cuban travel bill

Oct. 12, 2009 at 4:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Two U.S. senators seeking to end the four-decade-old ban on U.S. travel to Cuba are finding it difficult to get their bill heard, aides said.

Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., revived a bill they introduced initially in March to lift the travel ban that was imposed in 1963 by the Kennedy administration -- but they're looking for a way to do it, The Hill reported Monday.

Dorgan, chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, said he doesn't know how to get the bill onto the Senate floor and is searching for a committee that can pass the legislation with 32 co-sponsors, including Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind, the Ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

"We have not yet found a way," Dorgan said in a recent floor speech. "When we do, I guarantee we will have sufficient votes on the floor of the Senate to offer the American people the freedom they should have had in the last 50 or 60 years, and that is freedom to travel."

Most Republicans oppose and many centrist Democrats are uneasy about lifting the ban.

"On the one hand, you don't want to in some ways go easy on a regime that continues to be dictatorial and very brutal to their people," Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., told the Washington publication. "On the other hand, we've pursued this policy for 50 years, and it hasn't led to the kind of change that we want for the people of Cuba."

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