*This is a joint post with Sheila Herrling
The announcement Wednesday that House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) will not seek reelection in 2008 following a diagnosis of esophageal cancer is another loss for what is becoming a slim group of congressional champions for development and responsible U.S. global engagement. In a press release from his office, Lantos said:
It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.
Throughout my adult life I have sought to be a voice for human rights, civil liberties and social justice, both at home and around the world. My wife, Annette, and I look forward to continuing this vital work with purpose and verve every day for the remainder of my term.