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On Wednesday, January 28, 2004, HR2824 was marked-up by a single amendment submitted by Mark Green of Wisconsin and Marty Meehan of Massachusetts, and was reported out favorably by the House Judiciary Committee by a voice vote.

Unlike the Senate bill, the House bill and its new amendment remained cigar-free and without any non-mail ability provisions. Due to the efforts of business and customers alike, we have won a battle! We thank all those who contacted your local politicians to fight this lunacy, there is no doubt that the individual cigar smokers voice can be heard in Washington, which helped to keep HR2824 cigar-free!

The next step, although the battle was one, the war is not over! According to Norman Sharp, the president of the CAA "The next crunch point will be the House/Senate conference committee which will meet to resolve the differences between the two bills," said. "Once the conferees are appointed -- they tend to be the chief sponsors of the bills and chairmen of the relevant committees -- we will visit them and the appropriate staff members and try to get an assessment of where they stand..." In further comments, he expressed that, depending on how the Conference Committee members react to the CAA's effort to have cigars and the mail order ban stricken from the final bill will determine our next step. He states that our best tactic right now is to await the appointment of the conferees and then identify where they stand on this issue, before we mount another consumer campaign.

What is needed now, is we need to be ready and on notice, for now, we are being asked to keep cool until it is time to voice ourselves again and prepared to fire another round of letters to our elected officials when the need arises. We will continue to keep close tabs on this situation and AtlanticCigar.com will remain vigilant in keeping cigar smokers informed of all major developments.

Again, while we may have won a battle, this is certain to be a long, hard war. Not only is this bill an issue, but some individual states are also considering cigar- shipping bans of their own, under the guise of protecting children. The anti-tobacco zealots are committed to abolishing our prerogative to enjoy a cigar, so we have to be steadfast in our own commitment to fight for our rights. For now relax and enjoy victory, like General Patton and Grant who both enjoyed a fine Puros in hand after a great victory, but prepared themselves for the battles to come.

Thanks, AtlanticCigar.com
 
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