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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lantos Attacks Cuts to Russia NGOs

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos has criticized the head of U.S. foreign assistance programs for cuts proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush's administration in aid to India and some nongovernmental organizations in Russia.

Though the government's budget was prepared by the Bush administration, Lantos, who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, accused the director of U.S. foreign assistance, Randall Tobias, of being indiscriminate in making cuts.

"Your task was to reshape -- carefully, delicately -- and to bring order to our country's tangled thicket of assistance efforts overseas," Lantos told Tobias in a congressional hearing Thursday. "Instead, it appears to many members of this committee, you took to it with a weed-whacker."

Lantos criticized cuts to organizations working for democratic reform and human rights in Russia. "At a time when supporters of democratic reform, the rule of law and human rights are being assassinated or carted off to the gulags of Siberia, we should not be starving these groups of support," he said.