Californian Democrat Tom Lantos, who played a crucial role in the passage of Henry Hyde Act on the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal, has decided to not to seek re-election for a 15th term in November due to medical reasons.
"Routine medical tests have revealed that I have cancer of the oesophagus. In view of this development and the treatment it will require, I will not seek re-election," Lantos, also the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a Statement.
The Californian Democrat was one of the critical law makers involved in the passage of the Henry Hyde Act of 2006 on the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Cooperation. A strong supporter of India, he had made no bones of his displeasure on New Delhi's relations with Iran.
Lantos was elected to Congress in 1980 and is in his 14th term in office. He is also a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
"It is only in the US 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," Lantos said.
The only Holocaust survivor ever elected to Congress, Lantos is the founding co-chairman of the 24-year-old Congressional Human Rights Caucus, for which Annette has directed as a volunteer since its inception.
"Tom's decision to leave Congress will be deeply felt by his colleagues who value his wisdom, expertise and good judgment ...," the Republican Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ilena Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.