Johnson pulls gutted RECA bill


Update: US House Speaker Mike Johnson has pulled his watered-down version of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act that would have extended the bill past its June 7th expiration date but omitted key constituents. A vote will no longer be held on Johnson’s so-called “clean” (read “cheaper”) version of the RECA extension. Lawmakers from Missouri, in particular, raised strong objections to the omission of affected residents in their state. It is not clear what Johnson will do next. 

Background from earlier:

House Speaker, Mike Johnson (R-La.) has agreed to schedule a House vote next week on the extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) that eliminates virtually all the new constituents who would have been covered by the Act.

The strongest version of the bill had come from Missouri Senator, Josh Hawley, a version that expanded RECA to include countless victims of the nuclear weapons industry, including people in his own state. “Mike Johnson’s office tell us he will ask the House to pass a dirty RECA bill that gives NOTHING to Missouri, New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, our atomic vets or anyone else poisoned by their own government,” wrote Hawley on X (formerly Twitter). “Total dereliction. No member from Missouri can possibly vote for this.”

“Let me be clear: no RECA bill that excludes Missouri will pass the Senate by consent,” Hawley wrote.  “I will demand every procedural vote. And every vote will be a reminder the House would rather fund foreign wars than compensate Americans poisoned by their government.”

Said Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on X: “Failing to expand RECA is not a viable option. I’m a NO on any effort that doesn’t expand RECA NOW.”

Senator Hawley’s legislation to reauthorize and expand RECA to Missouri and other states to include hundreds of thousands of Americans has passed the Senate twice with overwhelming bipartisan support.

(Photo courtesy of the office of Senator Senator Ben Ray Lujan logoBen Ray Luján)


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