The House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill Wednesday containing a provision aimed at tightening travel restrictions to Cuba. Reps are calling it the "Jay-Z, Beyonce Bill," referencing the "educational trip" the stars took to the country earlier this year (one that conveniently coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary). To the Republicans championing the provision: good luck legislating a Beyonce vacation.
The provision is part of a $17 billion financial services spending bill that funds the operations of the Treasury Department, which approved Bey and Jay's trip. Under this new legislation, travelers will have to be pursuing academic study in Cuba related to a degree program for their trip to be approved. So, next time Hov will have to enroll in a master's program before visiting. You can't stop these people.
The trip's approval originally drew ire from conservatives because of President Obama's friendship with the Knowles-Carter couple. The Treasury Department maintains, however, that the president had nothing to do with approving the trip, and that when approving trips the department only considers the itinerary, not the travelers.
Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw (R) told Politico today that Bey and Jay's trip illustrated how approval guidelines aren't being enforced:
I think that if we’re going to say that we have this policy in place that relates to travel in Cuba that it ought to be enforced and that becomes a grey area where they’re probably not really following the guidelines.
Rep. Jose Serrano (D), who opposed the provision, claimed it's just "playing to the audience in Miami."
(Photo: Rolling Stone)