Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – House Republican Mario Diaz-Balart will try to push through a proposal to return Cuban travel policy to the restrictions under former President George W. Bush.
Diaz-Balart’s proposal would mean Americans would be allowed to Cuba only one trip every three years for family reunifications.
In addition, remittances would be capped at $1,200 per year; and would impose a stricter definition of “family,” according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
The South Florida Republican will seek to pass the proposal by attaching it to a spending package that Congress must pass to keep the government running through next year. But the bill’s passage with all of the House requests is still in question.
Last week, Senate Republicans scuttled a plan by Democrats to pass the payroll tax cut and pay for it with a new surtax on millionaires and billionaires. Republicans claimed that the tax would unfairly target business owners.
But, the GOP can count Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban as one of the growing chorus of the wealthiest Americans who don’t buy the GOP’s argument.
Cuban tweeted Tuesday morning that business owners agree that taxes are not on the list of top 20 considerations when making hiring decisions.
The House of Representatives is set to pass a version of the payroll tax cut that will also feature what Democrats consider to be poison pills inside its bill, including Diaz-Balart’s Cuban policy change.
The House will attach a provision that mandates the Keystone XL pipeline to be approved in 60 days.
In addition, House Republicans plan to cut the duration of jobless benefits, take money out of President Barack Obama’s health care law, and stopping an air pollution rule.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed Republicans are trying to force-feed their policy wants into the Senate bill. The House will likely vote on their version of the bill in the coming days. Reid said the House plan is dead on arrival.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that Reid and President Obama are playing politics with the bill and are willing to shut down the government to not pass the Republican-backed bills.
The House can adjourn for the holidays after it passes its version of the bill. That would leave the Senate to either have to take the House plan, or leave it.
President Obama has promised a veto if much of the Republicans policy wants in the bill are included.
If no deal can be reached between the two side, then the federal government faces another potential shutdown.
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