Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenators optimistic about reaching funding deal GOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Kan.) was one of the few Republican senators to praise President Obama’s decision to open trade and travel relations with Cuba.

“I have long fought to change the unilateral U.S. sanctions and regulations that restrict the ability of our farmers and ranchers to sell their products to Cuba,” Moran said Tuesday. “It simply does not make sense to continue policies and regulations blocking U.S. farmers from this market only for it to be filled by our competitors.”

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Moran said he wants Kansan farmers to be able to sell their wheat to Cuba and that overall agriculture exports to the communist island would boost the U.S. economy by more than $1 billion.

Last week, the administration announced it was easing some trade and travel restrictions against Cuba. 

More than 50 years ago, the United States decided to ban travel and trade as an attempt to punish the communist regime of Fidel Castro. Moran said obviously it hasn’t worked becauase the Castros are still in control of the country.

“Current U.S. policy only serves to limit American’s freedom to trade and travel with the island nation while contributing to the ongoing misery of the Cuban people,” Moran said. “A change in our nation's approach that can open Cuba up economically and politically through the exchange of commodities and ideas is necessary.”