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Ros-Lehtinenís Role Could Grow in House
Date: 10/28/2010
Written By: Miami Herald, By Lesley Clark

Excerpt: Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is poised to chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee if Republicans take control of the House in November, effectively quashing congressional efforts to ease restrictions on Cuba. Ros-Lehtinen didn't want to discuss the possibility, noting that ``the elections haven't happened,'' but congressional observers suggest she's a lock for the job -- if the GOP wins the 39 seats required to gain the House, as a number of analysts predict... But Stephens and other advocates who support relaxing the travel ban to Cuba contend that President Barack Obama could change the policy through an executive order. Advocates for lifting the ban, however, were already frustrated by Berman's decision not to bring up the travel ban before Congress left town for the November election, and some have pressed for a vote in a post-election, lame-duck session of Congress. Ros-Lehtinen as chair, ``would certainly put a chill on efforts to go through Foreign Affairs to repeal the travel ban, for example,'' said Jake Colvin, vice president for global trade issues at the National Foreign Trade Council. ``But you don't necessarily need to go through the committee to change Cuba policy.''