Approps Bill Nixes Cuba Travel Ban


The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a measure by voice vote in the financial services appropriations bill on Thursday to end the ban on U.S. travel to Cuba. As Pro Budget’s Matthew Nussbaum explains, “the committee approved a similar amendment last year, but the language did not make it into law. The financial services bill has never been considered on the floor, so the fate of the amendment could be determined in omnibus negotiations expected later this year.” That uncertainty didn’t dampen the spirits of the advocacy group Engage Cuba, which lauded the committee’s actions on Thursday. “Increased American travel is already benefiting the Cuban people by fueling the vast expansion of the island nation's private sector,” said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba. “More fundamentally, the federal government shouldn't be in the business of policing Americans' vacation plans. The travel ban is inconsistent with our values as a free society.”