Thanks to constituent advocacy, Congress voted overwhelmingly to extend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), a program that compensates victims of nuclear weapons development and testing, a mere two months before its scheduled expiration. This bipartisan two-year extension is an important first step to preserve and expand RECA, but our work is not done.
Since the dawn of the nuclear age, thousands of Americans have died or been harmed by U.S. nuclear weapons — disproportionately affecting poor, rural, Black, Indigenous, and people of color. From workers who mined and milled uranium without proper protective gear, to American citizens caught downwind of hundreds of nuclear tests and exposed to dangerous radiation without their consent, these weapons cause irreparable damage at every stage of production, maintenance and use.
RECA is a critical lifeline for individuals harmed by the development and testing of U.S. nuclear weapons. Support your fellow Americans by urging Congress to take action now.
The RECA Amendments of 2021 (H.R. 5338/S. 2798) 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.
It’s past time for the U.S. to accept responsibility and provide holistic support for the harm it has inflicted upon its own citizens. Urge your representatives to champion justice for these groups and support the RECA amendments of 2021!