US Representative Paul Gosar has introduced a bill called the Downwinders Compensation Act of 2017. The bill is intended to bring compensation to individuals who have developed cancer and other serious medical issues due to being “downwind” of the nuclear testing that took place from 1945 to 1962 in Nevada, according to a press release from Rep. Gosar’s office.
The bill has been introduced to address flaws in a previous act, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 (RECA) which provided restitution to individuals who developed a disease because of exposure. The current legislation will seek to expand restitution to individuals who fell outside of the boundaries set forth in the previous legislation. According to the press release, “Americans that reside in counties in close proximity to where the testing occurred are excluded from this program for no logical scientific reason, including people that reside in Mohave County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. This bill corrects this injustice and will provide compensation to qualifying individuals not included in the 1990 Act that deserve restitution.”
This is not the first time this legislation has been introduced. Congressman Gosar has introduced similar legislation twice before. Both bills were unsuccessful.
According to Congressman Gosar, “Since my first term, I have heard several gut-wrenching stories from individuals who now have cancer or have lost loved ones due to federal government negligence. For Congress to deny these victims the right to even file a claim is intolerable. It’s time for Congress to quit the cowardice and stand up to the injustice.”
Mohave County District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson said, “Mohave County is pleased and excited to join forces with Congressman Paul Gosar who continues to fight to secure Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments for our residents who were adversely impacted by nuclear weapons testing. As Chairman of the Board, and Supervisor District 1, we appreciate the continuing efforts of Congressman Gosar to expand the eligibility boundaries to ensure justice for Mohave County residents exposed to government radiation testing.”
The bill has been introduced to the House of Representatives and awaits a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee.
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