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Heinrich Statement on House Republicans Letting RECA Expire

Heinrich: “Shame on Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans...This isn’t over.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans let the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) expire: 

“Shame on Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans for letting RECA expire. The Tularosa Basin downwinders and uranium miners have experienced the real-life costs of radiation exposure for generations. They need RECA expanded now— not a lecture on the ‘costs’ of expansion from heartless House Republicans. 

“This isn’t over.  

“I will continue to fight to pass a long overdue expansion and extension of RECA this Congress.” 


Heinrich recently pressed Speaker Mike Johnson to immediately take up the Senate-passed and fully comprehensive RECA extension in bipartisan, bicameral letter. The letter, led by Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), said in part: “We urge action immediately to strengthen the RECA program before its impending sunset in June 2024. The United States government exposed these Americans to radiation as part of our national security efforts through World War II and the Cold War. It is long past time that RECA is strengthened to give these Americans their recognition and compensation. Their livelihoods, often devastated by the long-term consequences of radiation exposure, depend on your leadership and commitment to rectifying past injustices. Let us honor the commitment we made to these citizens by ensuring they receive the support and recognition they so rightly deserve.” Read the full letter here.  

On March 7, Heinrich delivered remarks on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to pass bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand RECA. Later that day, Heinrich secured Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand RECA to compensate individuals exposed to radiation while working in uranium mines or living downwind from atomic weapons tests.  

Heinrich has reintroduced legislation to extend and expand RECA since his first Senate term, starting in 2013.