Leger Fernndez And Lujn Applaud House Passage Of Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Two
U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández and U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján applauded the House passage Wednesday of a two-year extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The extension cleared the U.S. Senate with unanimous support last week. Without reauthorization, the RECA program is scheduled to sunset in July.
Last week, Rep. Leger Fernández and Rep. Burgess Owens led a bipartisan letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Whip Scalise. In the letter, the representatives urged leadership to bring S. 4119, the RECA Extension Act of 2022 to the House Floor for a vote as expeditiously as possible.
Last year, Rep. Leger Fernández introduced H.R. 5338, the RECA Amendments of 2021. H.R. 5338 would expand eligibility under RECA to include downwinders from New Mexico and other states as well as post-71 uranium miners. The House Judiciary Committee passed the legislation with bipartisan support in December. Rep. Leger Fernández continues to push for enactment of this legislation to ensure just compensation for all affected New Mexicans.
Rep. Leger Fernández and Sen. Luján will continue pushing for passage of their bipartisan legislation, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, to strengthen the program and compensate individuals exposed to radiation while working in uranium mines or living downwind from atomic weapons tests.
Nuclear Weapons Tests Sickened Many Yet Few Have Been Compensated
In the decades following World War II, radiation from U.S. nuclear weapons production and testing sickened nearby civilians, miners, and workers. Some people with compensable cancers have received funds under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 , a critical lifeline for affording medical care.
Unfortunately, through a combination of environmental racism, lack of scientific studies, and governmental cover-ups, most people exposed to life-threatening radiation have never been able to apply for compensation. They never will unless Congress acts soon, as RECA is set to expire this summer.
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What Are The Next Steps
Your legislators are committed to continuing to work on extension and expansion during the next two years, and theres already great legislation in the works. The RECA Amendments of 2021 would extend RECA for an additional 19 years and expand eligibility for communities harmed by radiation exposure across New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Guam, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Expanding coverage and support is vital to remediate the harms inflicted upon unknowing Americans for decades harms that continue today. Extending and expanding RECA could change the lives of people in these communities by providing them the access to the medical care they so desperately need.
Fill out this action alert and then call, email, and otherwise contact your federal and state representatives to urge them to accept responsibility and provide support for the harm it has inflicted upon its citizens
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Committee Passes Leger Fernndezs Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments
WASHINGTON Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández announced today that the House Judiciary Committee passed her Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021. The committee overwhelmingly passed the bill on a 25-8 vote with all Democrats supporting and 7 Republicans joining.
U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján and Mike Crapo introduced the Senate companion bill.
This bipartisan legislation would provide appropriate compensation to Americans who were exposed to high levels of radiation and later developed cancer and other diseases due to the governments nuclear testing program. It is urgently needed to extend the authorization which expires in July 2022, and just as importantly to include communities such as those in New Mexico where the first atomic bomb was tested yet New Mexicans are excluded from the compensation.
For decades, Nuevo Mexicanos have suffered the long-term effects of nuclear testing and uranium mining on our lands, said Leger Fernández. Our communities are forced to live with cancer and other diseases as a result. All it takes is one conversation with downwinder communities to see the injustice these communities face. The RECA Amendments will ensure that the program does not lapse as well as fair compensation for the communities left behind. I thank Chairman Nadler for holding this important markup and thank the Committee for approving the legislation and look forward to moving the bill through Congress.
Advocates Are Pushing Congress To Respondand Its Working
There is hope. The tireless efforts of radiation exposure survivors led to the introduction of the RECA Amendments Act of 2021 . This bill extends RECA for 19 years and adds eligibility for downwind populations in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Guam and additional areas in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Constituent action, in concert with storytelling by impacted community members, has played a critical role in driving RECA forward.
FCNL constituents have lobbied in key congressional districts to advance this urgently-needed, bipartisan legislation. By sharing their stories publicly, constituent advocates and impacted community members have educated congressional staff and their neighbors about the need for recognition and compensation. In some cases, these stories have helped others discover that their loved ones, too, were likely sickened by radioactive fallout from nuclear testing.
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House To Hold Hearing For Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments Of 2021
The House Judiciary for Constitution, Civil Right, and Civil Liberties will be holding a MarkupHearing for H.R. 5338 the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021,on December 8, 2021, at 10:00 am .
The people of Guam were exposed to Nuclear Fallout from the Nuclear testing in the Pacific Proving Grounds from 1946 to 1962. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 2021 if passed will provide medical benefits, $150,000 for eligible downwinders, extend the RECA program past 2022 and allow those eligible to file a claim.
Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors extends its gratitude to its members for their steadfast support to ensure that Guam is included in RECA. This hearing is yet another step forward to get the RECA bills to the House floor for a vote and hopefully for its passage. PARS will continue to work with its partners from the Frontline Community Group, Senate and House of Representative staff. Representative Teresa Ledger Fernandez has committed her support with Senator Mike Crapo and Senator Ben Ray Lujan with bipartisanship for those who have suffered and died from cancer and other diseases from their exposure to nuclear fallout and uranium mining.
Resolution No.178-36 and testimonies will be submitted to Congress and forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee to support the inclusion of residents of Guam in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021.
Doj Releases Rules Implementing Reca Act Amendments
Department of Justice, 28 CFR Part 79, Claims Under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2000 Final Rule and Proposed RuleFederal Register Aug. 7, 2002, p. 51421-51439:
“”SUMMARY: Thefinal regulations: expand the list of radiogenic and chronic diseasesthat are compensable for “downwinder” and “onsite participant”claimants eliminate smoking distinctions for all claimants amend thelist of geographical areas to provide additional radiation-affectedareas for “downwinder” claimants modify the burden of proof forpurposes of claims processing allow claimants who have previously beendenied compensation to file up to three times and make other technicalrevisions consistent with the amended Act.”
Department of Justice, 28 CFR Part 79, Claims Under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2000 Expansion of Coverage to Uranium Millers and Ore Transporters Expansion of Coverage for Uranium Miners Representation and Fees .Federal Register Aug. 7, 2002, p. 51440-51457:
The comment period on the proposed rule was reopened
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The Worlds Healthiest Forests Are On Indigenous Land
The 24th Navajo Nation Council is working with the Executive Branch, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Navajo Uranium Radiation Victims Committee, and many other partners to push support for H.R. 5338 and S. 2798 The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021 also referred to as the Expansion Bill. As of today, this has not been approved by the federal government.
The Navajo Nation Washington Office will continue to provide the public with relevant updates regarding the ongoing efforts of the expansion bill when available. Madam Chair Amber Kanazabah Crotty will be leading a delegation of Navajo uranium miners to Washington, D.C. for meetings with Congress and Biden Administration officials the week of June 20, 2022.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act was first enacted in 1990, then amended in 2000. Without reauthorization, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act program was scheduled to sunset in July. The Navajo Nation Council and President Jonathan Nez continue to meet with Congressional leaders advocating for the victims and families of the uranium legacy.
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Extend And Expand Reca: The Victims Of Nuclear Testing Have Suffered Enough
Washington Win Without War Government Relations Associate Faith Gay released the following statement in support of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act lobby week:
On July 16, 1945 the United States tested the first nuclear weapon ever, known as the Trinity test, in New Mexico. This was only the first of over one thousand devastating nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. during the Cold War, leading to thousands of radiation victims in several U.S. states. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 was supposed to respond to these victims, but it is set to expire in 2024. Unaddressed, this expiration will harm those relying on RECA measures, and continue to leave thousands of victims without necessary coverage, as it has from day one.
This is why Win Without War was happy to stand alongside the Union of Concerned Scientists and dozens of individuals impacted by nuclear testing last week to ask members of Congress from California and Texas to extend and expand RECA by supporting the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021: HR 5338 and S 2798. This RECA expansion legislation would extend coverage for another 19 years, expand the downwinder eligibility areas to additional states, increase compensation, and provide full healthcare to the claimants.
Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.
Shown Here: Introduced In Senate
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021
This bill expands two programs that compensate individuals who were exposed to radiation during certain nuclear testing or uranium mining and subsequently developed medical conditions, including cancers.
First, the bill expands and extends a program that compensates individuals who were exposed to radiation from atmospheric nuclear testing or other sources and subsequently developed specified cancers. Under current law, this program compensates individuals who were present in a designated geographic area during a period of nuclear testing and certain individuals employed in uranium mining. The bill
- expands the designated areas to include Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Guam and additional areas in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah
- makes more individuals who worked in uranium mining eligible for the program
- increases the amount of compensation awarded to and provides medical benefits for eligible claimants and
- extends for 19 years following the bill’s enactment the fund that supports this program and the statute of limitations for filing claims .
Second, the bill makes certain individuals employed in uranium mines or mills eligible for a program that compensates workers, including Department of Energy employees and contractors, for illnesses caused by occupational exposure to radiation and hazardous substances during development and testing of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.
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Western Governors Voice Support For The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments Of 2021
Western Governors provided comments to the House of Representatives in support of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021, which offers compensation to individuals who contracted cancers and other serious diseases following exposure to radiation from nuclear weapons tests or while employed in the uranium industry. The letter of March 10, signed by WGA Chair, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, and WGA Vice-Chair, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, encouraged the House to pass the bipartisan bill that would expand affected areas to include much of the west and and increase the amount of compensation for those affected. The RECA Amendments of 2021 would update the current statute to recognize the broader scope of populations and activities negatively affected by the nuclear weapons program, the letter read. The residents of western states and U.S. territories were the individuals primarily affected by these national security activities. .
Rally In Santa Fe Demanding Expansion Of Coverage By Radiation Exposure Compensation Act To Post
Legislature supports uranium measures:The Legislature is finally on board with supporting post-1971 uranium workers and downwinders in the home state of the atomic bomb as well as expanding amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to make them eligible to receive benefits.A memorial designating Uranium Workers Day, co-sponsored by Reps. Doreen Wonda Johnson, D-Churchrock, and Eliseo Lee Alcon, D-Milan, passed the House Monday on a unanimous vote. A companion memorial requesting the state’s congressional delegation to continue to support amendments to expand federal compensation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act for individuals exposed to radiation, sponsored by Sen. John Pinto, D-Gallup, also cleared the Senate unanimously.·House Memorial 40
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What Lawmakers Are Saying About This Bill
|Ordered to be Reported by the Yeas and Nays: 25 – 8.
|Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
|Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy.
|Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Downwinders Ignored Despite Radiation Fallout From Us Nuke Tests
On Tuesday, Biden signed a two-year extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act , a 1990 law that provides one-time cash benefits to radiation victims that developed serious illnesses near the Nevada Test Site during the Cold War era nuclear testing.
The United States conducted nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapons development tests between 1945 and 1962 spreading radiation across several Western states and the South Pacific. All the while, the Atomic Energy Commission insisted to surrounding residents: There is no danger. After a series of lawsuits over radiation exposure and failure to warn residents, RECA was by Congress as a low-cost alternative to litigation. RECA, which is also available to some uranium industry workers, has awarded over $2.5 billion in benefits to more than 39,000 claimants since 1990.
Many RECA advocates and affected communities believe a short-term extension alone is not enough. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for the extension, there is a fierce debate over expanding RECA that centers around the question of increasing eligibility for downwinders, or people living near test sites that continue to suffer from the legacy of nuclear testing.
Istra Fuhrmann, the Program Assistant for Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending at the Friends Committee on National Legislation explained during a Ploughshares event on Wednesday
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