Wednesday, August 21, 2019

House Bill to End Travel Restrictions

McGovern Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to End Cuba Travel Ban

f t # e
Washington, July 25, 2019 0 comments
Legislation Would Remove All Restrictions on U.S. Travel to Cuba
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, introduced bipartisan legislation alongside Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) in the House of Representatives to lift all restrictions on travel to Cuba by American citizens and legal residents.

Full Text of Bill Available Here (PDF)         
https://mcgovern.house.gov/uploadedfiles/mcgove_005_xml.pdf
The legislation, which was cosponsored by Kathy Castor (D-FL), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-AR), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), José E. Serrano (D-NY), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA), Denver Riggleman (R-VA), would also lift restrictions on transactions in conjunction with such travel, such as banking transactions.
Last month, the Trump administration further cracked down on travel to Cuba – implementing regulatory changes to ban “people-to-people” travel, the most common legal method of American travel to Cuba for non-family visits. The administration’s changes also bar all U.S. cruise vessels from entering Cuba.
“Every single American should have the freedom to travel as they see fit. Yet the travel ban deliberately punishes the American people – our very best ambassadors – and prevents them from engaging directly with the Cuban people,” said Congressman McGovern. “It is a Cold-War relic that serves only to isolate the United States from our allies and partners in the region, while strengthening the control of ideological hardliners in both countries.  It’s time for us to listen to the majority of Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Cubans who do not support the travel ban, and get rid of it once and for all.”
The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000 codified a ban on tourist travel to Cuba for U.S. nationals. It is the only country in the world for which the U.S. maintains a statutory travel ban. Currently, Americans can travel to China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Russia, Iran and Syria – each with human rights records arguably as bad or worse than Cuba’s.  Until just recently, Americans could even travel to North Korea.
Ironically, continued efforts to further restrict the right of Americans to travel to Cuba have had devastating consequences for Cuba’s fledgling private sector – the very people the United States aims to help. Until these harsher measures were imposed, Cuba’s private sector had grown to be approximately 30 percent of Cuban economy.
A companion bill will also be introduced on Monday in the Senate by a broad bipartisan group of 46 senators led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).


116TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION H. R. ll
To allow United States citizens and legal residents to travel between the
United States and Cuba.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. MCGOVERN introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on 
A BILL
To allow United States citizens and legal residents to travel
between the United States and Cuba.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Freedom for Ameri5 cans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2019’’.
6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
7 Congress makes the following findings:
VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:33 May 16, 2019 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MAECKS~1\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\MCGOVE~1
May 16, 2019 (12:33 p.m.)
G:\M\16\MCGOVE\MCGOVE_005.XML
G:\VHLC\051619\051619.162.xml (717726|3)
2
1 (1) During the more than 50 years since the
2 United States initially restricted travel by Americans
3 to Cuba—
4 (A) the Soviet Union has dissolved into a
5 dozen independent states; and
6 (B) the United States has resumed diplo7 matic and trade relations with the communist
8 governments of China and of Vietnam.
9 (2) There are no such restrictions on travel by
10 Americans to any other country except North Korea.
11 (3) While restrictions on travel by Cuban Amer12 icans were lifted in 2009, continuing restrictions on,
13 and requirements of licenses for, travel by non14 Cuban Americans are discriminatory and without
15 justification.
16 (4) Since 2013, the Government of Cuba—
17 (A) has ended restrictions on foreign travel
18 for most Cubans;
19 (B) has permitted Cubans to buy and sell
20 real property;
21 (C) has permitted hundreds of thousands
22 of Cubans to work as private entrepreneurs;
23 and
24 (D) has greatly expanded public access to
25 the Internet.
VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:33 May 16, 2019 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MAECKS~1\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\MCGOVE~1
May 16, 2019 (12:33 p.m.)
G:\M\16\MCGOVE\MCGOVE_005.XML
G:\VHLC\051619\051619.162.xml (717726|3)
3
1 (5) Restrictions on travel by Americans to Cuba
2 have resulted in a significant loss of revenue for pri3 vate Airbnb hosts, restaurants, taxi drivers, and
4 other small businesses in Cuba.
5 (6) Many companies in Europe, Canada, Rus6 sia, and other countries regularly send their rep7 resentatives to Cuba, while American companies can8 not do so, preventing American companies, including
9 banks and credit card companies, from providing
10 services to Americans who travel to Cuba under a
11 general license issued by the Office of Foreign As12 sets Control of the Department of the Treasury.
13 (7) A majority of Americans from every region
14 of the country and in both major political parties
15 consistently support normalizing travel by Americans
16 to Cuba.
17 (8) Ending restrictions on travel to Cuba, and
18 transactions incident to such travel would—
19 (A) pose no threat to the security of the
20 United States;
21 (B) advance United States national inter22 ests in the hemisphere; and
23 (C) foster free enterprise and democracy in
24 Cuba.
VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:33 May 16, 2019 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MAECKS~1\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\MCGOVE~1
May 16, 2019 (12:33 p.m.)
G:\M\16\MCGOVE\MCGOVE_005.XML
G:\VHLC\051619\051619.162.xml (717726|3)
4
1 SEC. 3. TRAVEL TO CUBA.
2 Subject to section 4, on or after the date of the enact3 ment of this Act—
4 (1) the President may not prohibit or otherwise
5 restrict travel to or from Cuba by United States citi6 zens or legal residents, or any of the transactions in7 cident to such travel, including banking transactions;
8 and
9 (2) any law, regulation, or policy in effect on
10 such date of enactment that prohibits or otherwise
11 restricts travel to or from Cuba by United States
12 citizens or legal residents, or any of the transactions
13 incident to such travel, including banking trans14 actions, shall cease to have any force or effect.
15 SEC. 4. EXCEPTIONS.
16 (a) SAVINGS PROVISIONS.—Nothing in this Act may
17 be construed to limit the authority of the President to re18 strict travel described in section 3, or any transaction inci19 dent to such travel, on a case-by-case basis, if the Presi20 dent determines that such restriction—
21 (1) is necessary to protect the national security
22 of the United States; or
23 (2) is necessary to protect the health or safety
24 of United States citizens or legal residents resulting
25 from traveling to or from Cuba; or
VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:33 May 16, 2019 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MAECKS~1\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\MCGOVE~1
May 16, 2019 (12:33 p.m.)
G:\M\16\MCGOVE\MCGOVE_005.XML
G:\VHLC\051619\051619.162.xml (717726|3)
5
1 (b) WRITTEN JUSTIFICATION.—Not later than 5
2 days before restricting travel described in section 3 or a
3 transaction incident to such travel, pursuant to the au4 thority referred to in subsection (a), the President shall
5 submit a written justification for such restriction to—
6 (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the
7 Senate;
8 (2) the Committee on Appropriations of the
9 Senate;
10 (3) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the
11 House of Representatives; and
12 (4) the Committee on Appropriations of the
13 House of Representatives.
14 SEC. 5. INAPPLICABILITY.
15 The provisions of this Act shall apply notwith16 standing section 102(h) of the Cuban Liberty and Demo17 cratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C.
18 6032(h)) and section 910(b) of the Trade Sanctions Re19 form and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C.
20 7209(b)).
VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:33 May 16, 2019 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 

No comments:

Post a Comment