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NTA Calls on Congress to Preserve Travel to Cuba

December 14, 2011


A huge U.S. spending bill currently before Congress contains a provision that would harshly tighten restrictions on Cuban-Americans who want to visit family members in Cuba. NTA Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer, CTP, said the restrictions on families could lead to fewer travel options for everyone.

"If Cuban-Americans can make only one visit every three years to visit their families, demand for air travel will drop precipitously," Richer said. "And when demand drops, airlines could cut flights, which means the rest of the traveling public would be restricted, too."

News articles on this issue are here and here.

The measure to limit travel to Cuba is a rider attached to the "megabus" spending bill, which has already shed other riders. Richer suggests that NTA members contact their Congressional representatives and urge them, as this bill is being negotiated, to not allow this anti-family, anti-travel provision to pass.

To reach a member of Congress and (leave a message to) ask that Congress not restrict travel to Cuba, call 202.224.3121.

Here’s list of key negotiators, provided by the Cuba Policy Roundtable:

Key negotiators are:

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is key to the overall package
  • House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Norman Dicks, who is involved in the overall "Megabus" discussions


Others involved in the negotiations include:

  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Daniel Inouye
  • Senate Majority Whip and Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Richard Durbin
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi


Here is a complete list of the the conferees for the "Megabus:" 

  • The Senate Democratic conferees are Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Sens. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT)


  • The Senate Republican conferees are Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MI) and Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX),  Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK),  Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Dan Coats (R-IN).


  • The House Republican conferees are Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Reps. Bill Young (R-FL), Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), John Culberson (R-TX), Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), and John Carter (R-TX).


  • The Democrats are Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA), and Reps. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), James Moran (D-VA), David Price (D-NC) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
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