Washington (Mar. 5)
– In its slashing of the federal budget, the Reagan Administration has recommended elimination of matching funds totaling $24 million for resettlement of Soviet Jewish immigrants in the United States.
The Administration last month also decided to eliminate the subsidy to Israel of $25 million for the current fiscal year for the resettlement there of Soviet Jews. The funding for Israel is to be ended by March 31. (See Feb. 26 Daily News Bulletin.)
Both actions are being protested by leading members of the House of Representatives. Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D. NY) has protested elimination of funding for Israel and Rep. Sidney Yates (D. III.) has assailed the proposal for immigrants in this country. He said “charitable agencies simply can not provide the necessary funding for this task.”
Yates scored the proposal when David Stockman, director of the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) appeared before the House Appropriations Committee. When he did not respond directly to Yates statements, Yates listed a series of questions for Stockman to answer. His replies are being awaited by Yates.
“What is the logic behind the cut in assistance for Soviet Jewish refugees?” Yates asked Stockman. “As one of the benefits of President Reagan’s hard-line policy toward the Soviet Union that nation has decided it ought to open the gates to let its people out who want to leave. What does the Administration do rather than taking advantage of the situation by providing necessary funds to help leave the Soviet Union? It proposes to cut back, to reduce the funds to help the refugees adjust to their new homes.”