U.S. House Votes to Rein In Increasing American Travel To Cuba

by Suzanne Gamboa /
U.S. tourists take pictures at the Capitol Building in Havana, Cuba, 2015Roberto Leon / NBC News

The House has voted to restrict air travel and cruises to Cuba even as Obama administration policy changes have led to Airbnb opening up lodging there, travel sites are offering flights to the country and Netflix has become available there.

The restrictions were included in a spending bill that the White House already has said it would recommend President Barack Obama veto should it reach his desk with those restrictions and other provisions that administration officials considered objectionable.

Related: 5 Signs Cuba Is Opening Up to Americans

Obama has been easing relations with Cuba and although U.S. law restricts travel to Cuba for specific reasons, verification that Americans are traveling for those reasons has diminished. The provision targets flights that use an airport on land that was once partly American owned and was confiscated by Fidel Castro's government.

Democrats tried to strip the provision sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., but failed on a vote of 247-176.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus members Reps. Tony Cárdenas of California, Henry Cuellar and Filemon Vela of Texas and Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois were among Democrats who voted with Republicans to reject Lee's amendment.