Tuesday, September 14, 2010

U.S. post-election vote seen best chance for Cuba bill H.R. 4645

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON | Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:57pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With time running short on the congressional calendar, the best chance of passing a bill this year that lifts the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba and removes hurdles on food sales to the island is after the November 2 congressional elections, a top U.S. lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"I think this would be a candidate for a 'lame duck' session," House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson said, referring to the period after the elections and before the new Congress is seated in January.

A broad coalition of farm, business and human rights groups support the legislation as an important step toward ending the almost five-decade-old embargo on communist-led Cuba and promoting positive change on the island.

The House Agriculture Committee voted 25-20 in favor of the bill in late June after a spirited debate.

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