U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick will visit business leaders, veterans, farmers, ranchers and timber workers in rural Idaho this week. As he gets feedback on how to shape national policy, Minnick will highlight how he is working for Idaho, noting efforts such as last week's vote in the House Agriculture Committee to expand agricultural trade with Cuba.
"This effort will help expand trade and create jobs in Idaho," Minnick said. "The bill goes a long way to help our Idaho producers and businesses expand their markets and I'm happy to have played a part in the process."
Walt will travel to Payette, Weiser, McCall and Cascade, with stops in between.
"The wisdom shared by sensible and practical Idahoans on how to manage our nation's budget and how to curb dangerous levels of government spending serves both Idaho and our nation well," Minnick said.
That sort of wisdom is behind the effort to open new Cuban markets, which could help lift Idaho back to economic prosperity.
The Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act (HR 4645) passed out of Committee by a vote of 25-20 last week. Along with 62 others, Minnick is an original co-sponsor.
Over 140 groups strongly support the bill, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, and Human Rights Watch. Groups such as the Idaho Grain Producers Association and Idaho Farm Bureau also strongly back the legislation.
"I have been to Cuba and seen first-hand the significant market opportunity for Idaho's grain farmers," Idaho Grain Producers Association President Scott Brown said. "But our country's own out-dated policies make us non-competitive while farmers sit on a surplus of grain and struggle with low prices. Walt Minnick understands the value of trade to a business like agriculture, and the IGPA greatly appreciates his leadership and support in Congress to remove these ineffective trade restrictions with Cuba."
Approved by the Committee, HR 4645 awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.