Tom Lantos

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Tom Lantos served the 12th Congressional district of California

Thomas Peter Lantos, was a Democrat who represented the 12th District of California the U. S. House of Representatives from 1981 until the time of his death in 2008. (map) He was married to Annette Lantos. He was succeeded by Jackie Speier.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Tom Lantos voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Lantos voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

2003 Invasion of Iraq

Congressman Lantos voted to authorize military force to be used in Iraq. He has made several official statements in his capacity as a Member of Congress and the International Relations Committee, many of which have been published in the Congressional Record. [1]

Congressman Lantos is alleged by several partisan news publications to have said to a member of the Israeli Parliament: "We'll be rid of the bastard [Saddam Hussein] soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you." [2]

Iraq troop "surge" resolution

In early February, as Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Lantos and Armed Services Chair Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) were charged with crafting a non-binding resolution opposing the President's troop "surge" in Iraq for passage in the House. House Majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the measure would contain language expressing “disagreement” or “reservation” with President Bush's plan for a troop surge.

On February 12, 2007, a copy of the resolution, officially sponsored by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), became public. It stated:

" (1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and (2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq."[2]

Main article: Congressional actions regarding President Bush’s 2007 proposed troop “surge” in Iraq

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Lantos was a well-known advocate on behalf of the environment, receiving consistently high ratings from the League of Conservation Voters and other environmental groups for his legislative record. [3] His long-standing efforts to protect open space have brought thousands of acres under the protection of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.[4] [5] In 2005 he battled back a stealth legislative effort to expand public use of the Farallon Islands, a protected wildlife haven.

Animal Rights

In May 2007, Rep. Lantos sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, urging him to rebuke Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, after police found evidence of dog-fighting on the premises. Lantos is co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus.[3]

Main article: Congress and the National Football League

National security and foreign policy

Aid to Afghanistan

In May 2007, Lantos co-sponsored with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) the Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act (H.R. 2446), which would provide $1.6 billion per year over the following three years to assist development, economic, and security programs in Afghanistan.[4]

Main article: U.S. congressional actions relating to Afghanistan

International Nuclear Fuel for Peace and Nonproliferation Act

On February 7, 2007, Rep. Lantos introduced the International Nuclear Fuel for Peace and Nonproliferation Act of 2007. The purpose of the bill was to establish an international regime for the assured supply of nuclear fuel for peaceful means and to authorize contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to support the establishment of an international nuclear fuel bank. A goal of this bill would be to remove pretexts for countries to build their own uranium enrichment and spent-fuel reprocessing facilities, as these national facilities might have limited security and could serve as fronts for countries to develop nuclear weapons programs.

Main article: International Nuclear Fuel for Peace and Nonproliferation Act of 2007

PEPFAR funding in FY2008 budget

After President Bush called for extended funding for PEPFAR (President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief), a program which includes provisions requiring at least one third of prevention funding to be used for "abstinence-until-marriage education" only, Rep. Lantos stated that the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which he chairs, would closely examine the effectiveness of the requirement, which both the Institute of Medicine and the Government Accountability Office had said hindered the program's prevention efforts. The Family Research Council (FRC) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) announced their intention to fight to maintain the provisions, which were passed in 2003 under the Republican-led Congress, while organizations like the Global AIDS Alliance lobbied for their removal.

Main article: Congressional actions on the federal budget/110th Congress


Lantos was born in Budapest, Hungary on February 1, 1928. He was part of an anti-Nazi resistance movement during the German occupation of Hungary. He considers himself a secular Jew and is the only Holocaust survivor serving in the House. Upon immigrating to the United States, he attended the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1953) and was a professor of economics, a television journalist, an administrative assistant, and an economic and foreign policy adviser to the U. S. Senate before entering the House. There he rose to serve on the influential House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he had been the senior Democratic member since 2001, and the chairman since 2007.

A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus [6], Lantos had repeatedly called for reforms to the nation's health-care system, reducing the national budget deficit and the national debt, rolling back the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (which cut taxes across the board), and opposing Social Security privatization efforts. He supported gay marriage rights and legalizing marijuana for medical use, was a strong gun control proponent and was adamantly pro-choice. [7] [8] He served a total of 14 terms, and died in office on February 11th, 2008.[5]

2006 elections

No major candidates announced their intentions to contest Lantos’ seat in the November 2006 election. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [9]


On January 2, 2008 Lantos announced that he had cancer and would not run for re-election in 2008. In a statement Lantos said "Routine medical tests have revealed that I have cancer of the esophagus. In view of this development and the treatment it will require, I will not seek reelection." Two members are in line to succeed Lantos as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.).[6][7]


On February 11, 2008, Lantos died of esophageal cancer at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. At the time of his death, he was chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He served 14 terms in the House of Representatives, where his career was characterized by a strong support of human rights and US military intervention abroad.[8]

Money in Politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00007382&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Tom Lantos
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Boards and Other Affiliations

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Tom Lantos. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0512
Phone: 202-225-3531
Web Email

District Office - San Francisco:
Phone: 415-566-5257

District Office - San Mateo
400 South El Camino Real, Suite 410
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: 650-342-0300
Fax: 650-375-8270

Articles and Resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Greg Sargent, "House Dems' Resolution: "Congress Disapproves" Of Escalation," TPM Cafe, February 12, 2007.
  3. Jeremy Jacobs, "Lantos urges NFL to condemn Vick over dog fighting", The Hill May 19, 2007.
  4. Embassy of Afghanistan,"Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act Will Provide Country with Crucial Resources for Reconstruction and to Fight Terrorism," May 25, 2007.
  5. Adam Bernstein,"Rep. Tom Lantos Dies at Age 80", The Washington Post’’ February 11th, 2008.
  6. Jackie Kucinich, "Lantos will not seek reelection," The Hill, January 2, 2007.
  7. Jonathan Weisman, "Lawmaker Says He Has Cancer And Will Not Run for Reelection," The Washington Post, January 3, 2007.
  8. Adam Bernstein,"Rep. Tom Lantos Dies at Age 80", The Washington Post February 11th, 2008.
  9. Directors, Airline Ambassadors, accessed February 23, 2009.


Articles about Tom Lantos

SourceWatch/Congresspedia Resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: None
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform/Subcommittee on Domestic Policy, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform/Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 4, 1980
First Took Current Office:
January 5, 1981
Next Election:
Term Ends:
February 11, 2008
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Millbrae Board of Education
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
Phone: / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

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Date of Birth: February 1, 1928