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Congressman Gosar Urges Speaker Johnson to Include RECA Reauthorization in FY2024 Budget

Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-09), issued the following statement after sending a letter to Speaker Mike Johnson and House and Senate Appropriations leaders asking that legislation reauthorizing and expanding the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to include downwinders in all of Arizona be included in the upcoming FY2024 appropriations package:

“Since first elected to Congress, I have been tirelessly fighting for the federal government to recognize the communities of Mohave County, Arizona that have been illogically excluded from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

It is a tragic fact that in an effort to protect us from our enemies, the United States government poisoned its own people.  The federal government has a responsibility to take care of the survivors of nuclear weapons testing, known as downwinders, who unknowingly were exposed to deadly levels of radiation and toxic waste. 

With lawmakers expected to pass the annual budget bill next week,  I joined a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives asking that Speaker Johnson and leaders of the Appropriations Committees include legislation that recently passed the Senate be included in the upcoming budget package.

The bill reauthorizes RECA for six years, increases the lump-sum compensation to $100,000 and, importantly, corrects a long injustice by expanding RECA to cover all downwinders in Arizona, instead of just certain counties.  Residents of Mohave County, Arizona have been wrongfully excluded for years and should be first in line for compensation.

There is broad, bi-partisan agreement that the United States must compensate all downwinders who have been stricken with cancer and other diseases because of reckless government actions.  Now would be the correct time to strengthen RECA and cover these communities in Arizona by expanding the program, already authorized by Congress, that has been life changing for so many people,” concluded Congressman Gosar.