Posted: 12:58 pm Thursday, December 18th, 2014
By Jamie Dupree
In the aftermath of President Obama’s announcement that he would move to normalize relations with Cuba, there are a number of things the Congress could do to bolster – or block – efforts by the Obama Administration to deal with the Castro regime.
Lawmakers most certainly could use their “power of the purse” to attempt to hamstring the President’s moves, and that was already being discussed by some GOP lawmakers.
I will do all in my power to block the use of funds to open an embassy in Cuba. Normalizing relations with Cuba is bad idea at a bad time.
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) December 17, 2014
As I wrote in a blog earlier this week, lawmakers could use a simple spending prohibition known as, “None of the funds,” in order to block money from going to opening a new embassy or to change existing administrative details on the economic embargo or travel ban against Cuba.
And it would seem that measures to roll back the President’s moves certainly have the support of top Republicans.
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) December 17, 2014
But the GOP opposition is not total, as key parts of the Republican coalition, like the Chamber of Commerce and major agricultural groups support the idea of opening trade, and even totally lifting the embargo against Cuba.
““Improving trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba will expand access to a market of 11 million consumers for U.S. agriculture,” said Bob Stallman, the President of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“That’s good for Cuba and good for America, too.”
Cuba ricochets into GOP Presidential race
Breaking with others who might be running for President, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told a radio station on Thursday that he supports the idea of opening trade with Cuba, putting him at odds with others like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Sen Rand Paul R-KY breaks with GOP on Cuba: "The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked" http://t.co/zwQNSgvUCi
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) December 18, 2014
“In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea,” Paul told WVHU Radio in Huntington, West Virginia.
Critics of Paul have long questioned his foreign policy views, a reminder of the criticism his father leveled against his father, Ron Paul.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.