WASHINGTON — US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that congressional efforts to end the US ban on travel to Cuba would take a back seat to overhauling US health care and fostering job creation.
"I've always been a supporter of lifting the travel ban to Cuba. Right now we're consumed with job creation, health investments and health care, and I don't know when that would be coming to the floor," she told reporters.
Pelosi's comments came as a key House of Representatives committee held a hearing aimed at building support for legislation to scrap the restrictions.
Lawmakers who oppose the ban, a Cold War-era prohibition imposed in the aftermath of the 1959 Cuban revolution that swept Fidel Castro to power, say it has hurt US efforts to promote democratic reforms in the socialist-run island.
The fate of the legislation is unclear -- staunch anti-Castro lawmakers have been mounting a tough fight against such measures, which they say will be seen as a reward for human rights abuses.
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