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May 2024 Update from Tina

If Congress doesn’t act soon thousands of people who’ve been left out of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) will be out of time and out of luck. The people of New Mexico have known this truth for far too long. 

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) has provided compensation to SOME people exposed to radiation from nuclear testing and compensation and health care to SOME uranium workers for decades. Unfortunately, the program HAS NEVER GONE FAR ENOUGH and excludes too many people. 

RECA is set to expire on June 7, 2024. 

Here’s the problem, we have amazing momentum now, but there are those like Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) who just introduced legislation to extend RECA only as-is. Senator Lee doesn’t believe we should expand the program to include those long left out. He believes it will cost too much but we know differently. 


See below for the Pie Chart that shows how the cost of RECA compares to the cost of the US nuclear programs. RECA has been a pittance in comparison. 


On a recent trip to Laguna Pueblo I spoke to a man who was a former uranium miner post 71. He was quite angry and told me we cannot accept just an extension of the current program. He said he knew many men who had died waiting for RECA since the last 2-year extension. He wondered who would be next. mmmmmmmmmm

Our government’s most important job is to keep us safe.

To have sent people into the mines without adequate safety gear is inexcusable. To have allowed people to live as close as 12 miles to a test site without warning or evacuation is inexcusable. It is a total moral failure for the US government to walk away from responsibility for the extensive harm that was done, and continues.


Our families, our communities have endured unimaginable suffering. We’ve become accustomed to facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and the psychological and emotional toll of living with the consequences of being overexposed to radiation. It is time to extend and expand RECA now.


Time is critical now.

We must push the House leadership to act swiftly and pass the bill that extends and expands the life-saving programs RECA provides.


Please contact:

Speaker of the House Michael Johnson at 202-225-4000

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries at 202-225-5936


Urge them to support the passage of the RECA bill S.3853. 

Tell them: An extension won’t do. We have waited long enough. 


Contact your member of Congress and let them know it is vital that they support the RECA bill S.3853 at:

1 Comment

Jan BenDor
Jan BenDor
May 31

Thank you so much for all your efforts for justice. My parents were among the first downwinders, exposed on July 16, 1945, while they were at Roswell AFB. My mother died of thyroid cancer and my father of mylodysplasia. I have called all the members of Congress on your list as well as Congr. Debbie Dingell, my rep. In 2010 I made a 6 minute documentary about my parents.

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