WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Greg Stanton released the following statement after Speaker Mike Johnson confirmed the House will no longer vote on a gutted version of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) that would fail to compensate thousands of radiation victims across the country, including Arizonans in Lower Mohave County.

“Speaker Johnson did the right thing by pulling this vote on a RECA extension bill that left out Downwinders in Mohave County. Now let’s quickly take up the bipartisan, Senate-passed RECA reauthorization,” Stanton said. “RECA is set to expire in little more than a week, potentially denying Arizona families the compensation they need to pay for health care treatments. The House can't delay any longer.”

Stanton has introduced the Downwinders Parity Act every term he has served in Congress. His legislation would update RECA to include all of Mohave County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada as affected areas, and instruct the Attorney General to submit a report to Congress outlining what efforts will be undertaken to educate and conduct outreach to those made newly eligible. The legislation has passed the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support. 

In March 2021, at Stanton’s urging, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the impacts of radiation exposure for Downwinders – the first time in two decades that victims in the Southwest were given an opportunity to speak before a House committee on the urgent need for justice to their communities. 

Stanton invited Mohave County Supervisor Jean Bishop to testify. She told the Committee, “While, at the time, we were encouraged to celebrate the advances of our government finding methods to protect U.S. citizens; unfortunately, we were blind to the fact that radioactive fallout would kill and sicken numerous members of our family.”

Congress voted to extend the RECA program for two years in May 2022 but did not expand eligibility to downwinders in Mohave and Clark Counties.

In March, the Senate passed a five-year extension of the RECA program and expanded the geographic downwinder eligibility to include all counties in certain Western states, including Arizona; added eligibility to people living around improperly stored nuclear waste sites; and extended the time for RECA eligibility from 1971 to 1990 for uranium workers (miners, millers, core drillers, and ore transporters).

RECA has awarded over $2.4 billion in benefits to more than 38,000 claimants to date. However, the program is scheduled to sunset on June 10th, 2024.


The United States government conducted nearly 200 atmospheric weapons development tests as part of Cold War security from 1945 to 1962. These tests exposed thousands of Americans to cancer-causing ionized radiation from nuclear fallout. When the injuries were discovered, Congress attempted to make amends on behalf of the nation by passing the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to establish a trust fund for partial restitution to individuals who have contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases that can be directly attributed to the radiation exposure from the nuclear weapons testing.

Unfortunately, that bill included serious boundary flaws that have prevented otherwise eligible Arizonans from receiving justice and the compensation to which they are entitled. Americans that reside in counties in close proximity to where the testing occurred are excluded from this program for no logical scientific reason, specifically residents in Mohave County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. 

The serious effects of exposure to low doses of radiation can be unpredictable, but incredibly harmful. There’s a higher tendency among Downwinders to develop certain cancers including Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Lymphomas and many more. As a result, thousands have suffered from cancer, and far too many have died. Research from the National Cancer Institute shows that lower Mohave County and lower Clark County have higher rates of radiation exposure than other areas covered under RECA.