Email received from LAWG.org
Dear Cuba Policy Advocates,
It’s time for us - and you - to get to work! A House subcommittee (Financial Services) yesterday added language to the appropriations bill that would ease travel restrictions for Cuban Americans wishing to visit family and would facilitate agricultural sales to Cuba. The result of yesterday’s subcommittee meeting is an appropriations bill that allows for Cuban Americans to travel to Cuba once per year and expands the definition of family to include cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Get more details from this Reuters article http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN1738649220080617 . Or in Rep. Serrano’s words: “This mark also includes provisions to liberalize travel to Cuba for Americans who have family members living in that nation. There is no reason to place harsh restrictions on those who simply wish to visit close family members. In addition, the bill contains a provision to facilitate agricultural trade with Cuba, allowing more American farmers to sell their products to Cuba.”
This language in the legislation is only the beginning. This is a very modest effort, but it is extremely important that it not lose! It paves the way for broader changes that are what we and you really want. The message that would be sent if these provisions lose would be harmful to our work for real change next year.
The real work starts now, and it starts with us! We have to work to get this bill on the floor, and to do so we have to make our voice heard on Capitol Hill! The first step is getting it passed by the full Appropriations Committee, which will meet tentatively Wednesday June 25. We must urge members on that committee to vote in favor of Representative Serrano’s Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations bill so it reaches the floor. See a full list of committee members here http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml Check it out to see if your representative is on this committee. If so, we need you!
We have selected a number of members in particular that need strong encouragement. This list includes:
Rodney Alexander (R) LA-5 (Alexandria, Monroe areas) tel. 202.225.8490
Jo Bonner (R) AL-1 (Mobile, Foley areas) tel. 202.225.4931
Allen Boyd (D) FL-2 (Tallahassee, Panama City areas) 202.225.5235
Chet Edwards (D) TX-17 (Waco, College Station areas) 202.225.6105
Patrick Kennedy (D) RI-1 (Pawtucket Area) 202.225.3290
Jack Kingston (R) GA-1 (Savannah, Brunswick, Baxley, Valdosta areas) 202.225.5831
John Peterson (R) PA-5 (State College, Titusville areas) 202.225.2565
Dennis Rehberg (R) MT-At large (full state) 202.225.3211
Ciro Rodriguez (D) TX-23 (San Antonio area) 202.225.4511
Steven Rothman (D) NJ-9 (Hackensack, Jersey City areas) 202.225.5061
Tim Ryan (D) OH-17 (Youngstown, Akron, Warren areas) 202.225.5261
Adam Schiff (D) CA-29 (Pasadena area) 202.225.4176
Zach Wamp (R) TN-3 (Chattanooga, Oak Ridge areas) 202.225.3271
Frank Wolf (R) VA-10 (Herndon, Winchester areas) 202.225.5136
We urge advocates from these districts contact your members and ask them to support Rep.Serrano’s Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations Bill. Call the Washington office, ask for the foreign policy aide, and request that the congressperson vote in favor of the Cuba provisions in the Financial Services Appropriations Bill to be considered next week in full committee. Call today!
And, if you aren’t in any of the target districts but know people in these districts, PLEASE pass on this information and ask these constituents to call.
The list above is made up of what we consider priority members to contact, but any member on the full committee should be strongly encouraged to vote in favor of Rep. Serrano’s Cuba provisions. So, if your member is on the committee list (http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml ) but not one of the targets, we still encourage you to contact him/her.
Finally, please let us know with a quick email if you contact your member’s office and what the response is. Thanks!
Thank you for all you do advocating for a more just policy.
Latin America Working Group