‘Downwinder’ Legislation Needs GOP Backing


According to Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors President Robert Celestial, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act has advanced in Congress. However, on the Senate side, Celestial reports that the bill will need more support from Republican senators to pass.

PNC’s Don Sulat has the update on this story…

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The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or simply RECA, was introduced to both the US House and Senate on September 22 of last year.

Although the compensation act is seeing traction, Celestial reports that due to the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, things in Congress have slowed down. Which could cause some problems for those who are affected by radiation exposure, as RECA as it stands, will end this year.

To accommodate and extend the program, a bipartisan letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – Speaker Nancy Pelosi – and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The letter, which had bipartisan support, stated quote, “As we continue to work on a bipartisan solution to improve and expand the RECA program, Congress must act to extend RECA before it expires. With many still sick and dying from the impact of radiation exposure, we must act now to ensure affected Americans are eligible to receive the compensation they need.”

However, Celestial reports that it still requires the support of 6 more Republican senators.

Currently, according to Celestial, the 4 Republican Senators that are in support are Senators Risch, Lummis, Sullivan, and Crapo.

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News Director for the Pacific News Center, Don was born and raised on the island of Saipan and moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team to broaden his writing, and to challenge himself to get in front of the camera. Don’s ultimate goal and passion is to have a well informed and politically engaged Marianas.