This guy is a buffoon.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a strong supporter of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, is launching a full-on battle this week to remove several provisions from the 2009 government spending bill that would open a small crack in the slammed door of relations with Havana.
Menendez fired a broadside at the Obama administration yesterday for backing a provision buried in the $410 billion spending bill, which must become law by next week in order to keep the government running. The New Jersey senator, a Cuban-American, objects to language in the bill that would allow Cuban-Americans to visit relatives on the island once a year and end limits on the sale of American food and medicines in Cuba.
Menendez even suggested yesterday that he might oppose the spending bill if the Cuba provisions were not removed, saying in a floor speech that they “[put] the omnibus appropriations package in jeopardy, in spite of all the other tremendously important funding that this bill would provide.”
Polls suggest that the majority of Cuban-Americans side with the administration, rather than Menendez — an influential poll of the community, conducted in Florida every year since 1991, found in December that 55% of Cuban-Americans supported lifting the embargo against Havana.
This is a perfect example of why it’s so damn hard to govern. Guys like Menendez who have a personal agenda can muck things up for the governing party, even when he’s outnumbered on an issue. The blogs and cable shows need to go after this guy and highlight these tactics.