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Heinrich, Luján Applaud Senate Passage of RECA Extension

Legislation extending RECA program for two years passes Senate

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) applauded the U.S. Senate’s unanimous agreement on an extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program for two years, allowing individuals more time to apply for the compensation they deserve. Senators Heinrich and Luján reiterated the need for additional efforts to expand the program to include coverage for all of those who lived downwind of above-ground atomic weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s. The legislation is now headed to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. Without reauthorization, the RECA program is scheduled to sunset in July. 


Senators Luján, Crapo, and Heinrich introduced bipartisan legislation in September 2021 to strengthen the RECA program.

“The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act provides critical medical assistance and compensation to those who bore the health costs of our nation’s nuclear history. I welcome the renewal of RECA, but I won’t stop fighting to deliver resources to clean up radioactive legacy waste left behind by uranium mining and milling operations. We also need to finally amend RECA so it includes families who lived in and near New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin at the time of the Trinity Test and all of the Cold War era uranium mill workers and miners who continue to cope with serious health problems due to exposure to radioactive nuclear material.”

“Preserving and expanding the RECA program to provide long overdue justice to New Mexico downwinders and uranium workers is one of my top priorities in Congress. The Senate took a critical step to extend the RECA program ahead of the program’s July sunset date,” said Luján. “Now, the House must swiftly pass this legislation and send it to President Biden’s desk. Congress cannot let the RECA program expire and must continue to work to expand and strengthen RECA.”