Without Congressional action, RECA is set to sunset June 10th

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a letter to House leadership this week, U.S. Congressmen Greg Stanton, Raúl Grijalva and Ruben Gallego called for an immediate vote on bipartisan Radiation Exposure Compensation Reauthorization Act expansion and extension legislation. This bill would ensure all Arizona ‘Downwinders’—people exposed to cancer-causing ionized radiation from atmospheric weapons tests conducted by the U.S. government—are recognized and justly compensated

“Without action in the House, RECA will expire on June 10th—potentially denying Arizona families the compensation they need to pay for health care treatments,” the members wrote. “It’s long past time for the federal government to take responsibility for its actions. We urge you to bring the Senate-passed RECA reauthorization to the House floor immediately.”

The letter is available HERE. 

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.

Last week, after Speaker Mike Johnson confirmed the House would no longer vote on a gutted version of the RECA reauthorization, Stanton called on the Speaker to immediately put the Senate-passed legislation on the House floor.

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.