Reid defends FBI spending to monitor hate groups

RENO (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is joining civil rights leader Morris Dees in condemning a Republican push to cut $133 million from the FBI's budget, a move he says would undermine efforts to combat hate groups in Nevada and the U.S.

Reid agrees spending cuts are necessary but says the budget shouldn't be balanced on the backs of agents whose jobs include monitoring groups like the Aryan Nation and Ku Klux Klan. He says 15 hate groups currently are operating in Nevada alone.

Dees co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. He told reporters Thursday he owes his life to FBI agents who infiltrated a group of white supremacists before they could carry out a plan to kill him during a speech in southern Illinois in 1998.


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