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Cold War Patriots in Washington, D.C. with the RECA Working Group, Advocating to Expand and Extend Benefits

October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022

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In September, Cold War Patriots, as part of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) working group, comprised of more than 30 affected community groups and advocates from around the country, converged on Capitol Hill to advocate for the expansion and extension of RECA compensation and medical benefits.
Tim Lerew (in red), Sherrie Hannah and Matt Capalby of the RECA Working Group meeting with Representative Paul Gosar (AZ) to make the case for new RECA legislation on Capitol Hill in September, 2022.

In September, Cold War Patriots, as part of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) working group, comprised of more than 30 affected community groups and advocates from around the country, converged on Capitol Hill to advocate for the expansion and extension of RECA compensation and medical benefits.

The group has been successful earlier in this year, securing the passage and signing into law of a two year extension of the existing RECA program, which would have otherwise sunset in July of 2022.

Not satisfied with the status quo, Cold War Patriots and members of the RECA Working Group arranged for over 30 face to face meetings with US Senators, House Members, and their staffs, to ask for their ongoing or new support for S.2798/H.R. 5338, the Senate and House legislation that would:

  • Extend RECA by 19 more years
  • Expand downwinder eligibility substantially in the western United States
  • Extend the uranium miner and worker eligibility period for benefits to 1990
  • Increase the amount of compensation to address inflation
  • Provide health care benefits through EEOICPA for all eligible claimants

All told, there is now stronger bi-partisan support for the new legislation with 72 House and Senate Co-Sponsors. Not much time remains to move the legislation to floor votes this year, but the Cold War Patriots and the RECA Working Group will continue to fight for and advocate for this important legislation in the year ahead. Cold War Patriot members are encouraged to contact their House Members and Senators to also express your support for S.2798 and H.R. 5338.