Help PSR convince Congress to support radiation victims June 3, 2024

Photo: Daryl Kimball

A crucial vote will happen soon in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hanging in the balance: justice for communities impacted by the nuclear weapons enterprise.

Join us in one of two actions — send an email or make a phone call to your U.S. Representative.

The original Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) took effect in 1990 and is critical to ensuring communities harmed by radiation from U.S. nuclear weapons testing, development, and uranium mining receive cancer screenings and compensation. The legislation is due to “sunset” on June 7. If the House of Representatives fails to take action this week, RECA will expire.

This year, momentum has built up behind legislation to finally bring justice to victims of radiation harm from the nuclear weapons enterprise who have been denied compensation for decades in the original RECA. On March 7, thanks to immense pressure and advocacy from frontline communities and people like you, the Senate passed S. 3853 from Senators Hawley (R-MO) and Lujan (D-NM) with strong bipartisan support — with a 69 to 30 vote. This bill will significantly strengthen RECA by including previously excluded downwind communities — like those downwind of the Trinity Test in New Mexico, including additional uranium mining communities, and increasing compensation to keep up with inflation. But Speaker Mike Johnson has been stonewalling it in the House.

PSR is heavily invested in promoting environmental justice for impacted communities. “A government that knowingly harmed its own citizens has a moral responsibility to take care of those harmed,” says Mary Dickson, a Utah downwinder. To finally expand RECA, the House of Representatives must pass S. 3853 within the next three days. Use this link to send an email to urge your U.S. Representative to extend and expand RECA.

For even more impact, please pick up the phone and call your U.S. Representative, regardless of their political party. Dial the House of Representatives switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the office of your U.S. Representative. Tell the representative’s staff that you are a constituent, and convey the message: “Ask Speaker Johnson to call a vote THIS WEEK on S. 3853 to extend and expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. And then vote yes!” More “talking points” are below.
In addition to PSR, S. 3853 is supported by multiple tribes, the American Public Health Association, the Western Governors Association, the United States Conference of Bishops and many other faith groups. Please add your voice! And let us know what sort of response you get from your member of Congress.

More Talking Points to Guide Your Call:

  • Many communities exposed to radiation during the Manhattan Project and Cold War have been fighting for decades for justice. 
  • By including previously excluded communities and increasing compensation amounts, Congress can finally properly address the harm done by the government.
  • In March of this year, the Senate passed S. 3853 with bipartisan support, which will finally include these communities.
  • Please make sure this important program is not allowed to lapse, and that those who have been harmed can get the justice they deserve. Vote yes on Senate Bill 3853.
  • Thank you for your time.

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