Senate Foreign Relations Committee Backs Lifting Cuba Travel Ban
Thursday, November 6, 2003
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by a vote of 13-5, has approved
S. 950, a bill by Sen. Mike Enzi, to allow unconditional travel between
the United States and Cuba. The bill will now be on the legislative
calendar of the Senate, which will likely adjourn shortly for the year.
However, the bill will remain on the calendar next year.
Two amendments were accepted to the bill, both by unanimous votes. First,
was an amendment by Sen. Chris Dodd to express the "outrage" of the
Senate about human rights and other conditions in Cuba. Second, was an
amendment by Sen. Bill Nelson to require a report by the State Department
on Cuba's financing of terrorism. Opponents to the bill attempted four
other critical amendments, which were unsuccessful.
Senators voting for
unconditionally lifting the ban were: Dick Lugar, Chuck Hagel, Lincoln
Chafee, Enzi, George Voinovich, John Sununu, Joe Biden, Paul Sarbanes,
Dodd, John Kerry, Russ
Feingold, Barbara Boxer and Jay Rockefeller. Senators voting against were:
George Allen, Lamar Alexander, Norm Coleman, Nelson and Jon Corzine. Sen.
Sam Brownback did not attend.
In addition to the Cuba travel bill, the committee unanimously approved S.
1317, a bill to amend the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of
2002, to provide clarification with respect to the eligibility of certain
countries for United States military assistance. It also unanimously
approved S. 1824, a bill to re-authorize the Overseas Private Investment
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