June 30,2005

Despite Veto Threat Over Cuba, Baucus To Block Treasury Nominees

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Following a White House veto threat over a provision in the Housetransportation appropriations bill that would allow agriculture sales to Cuba to resume, U.S. Sen.Max Baucus, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said he will continue to blockTreasury Department nominees that come before the Senate.

“I am disappointed to learn that the administration is committed to enforcing thisstringent new Treasury Department restriction on agricultural sales to Cuba, despite the drag it ishaving on U.S. sales to the island. Agricultural exports to Cuba rose to more than $400 millionlast year, but then dropped by more than 25 percent in the first four months of this year becauseof this rule. We should be opening new markets for farmers and ranchers, not closing them. So Iwill keep fighting for Montana farmers and ranchers. Until I am convinced that theseagricultural sales can continue as Congress intended, I have no choice but to keep my promise toblock consideration of significant nominees to the Treasury Department that come before theSenate.”