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    Bill to Compensate Radiation Fallout Victims of Atom Bomb Tests Allowed to Expire

    Bill to Compensate Radiation Fallout Victims of Atom Bomb Tests Allowed to Expire

    House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., scuttled a bipartisan bill Friday that would have extended and expanded a unique federal program to compensate the “downwinder” radiation fallout victims of U.S. atom bomb tests.

    Citing concerns that the bill would be too costly, Johnson adjourned the House without allowing a vote on the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, effectively killing the bill, which will sunset Monday. The House is not due to go back into session until Tuesday.

    The bill, which passed in the Senate by a vote of 69-30 and was supported by President Joe Biden, would have extended RECA coverage for the first time to the “downwinders,” uranium workers and others in New who were exposed to fallout from the July 16, 1945, first-ever explosion of an atom bomb in the Trinity test depicted in the blockbuster movie “Oppenheimer.”

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    RECA coverage would also have been expanded to those in Montana, Idaho, , Missouri, New Mexico, and parts of Arizona, Utah and Nevada who were not previously covered under the program. It would have covered people who were exposed to nuclear waste or were “downwind” of the Nevada test site where more than 100 atom bomb tests were conducted during the Cold War.

    “I am disappointed that Speaker Johnson sent the House home without taking action on RECA before the sunset date,” Sen. Ben Ray Luján,…

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