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Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is deeply disappointed over Congress’ decision to omit a critical provision providing compensation to victims of nuclear weapons testing and production from the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Contact Tim McHugh:, 202-903-2515

The provision, which the Senate voted to include in the NDAA by a strong bipartisan vote of 61-37, would have significantly strengthened the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) by extending crucial financial support and healthcare coverage to victims of nuclear weapons tests, uranium mining, and nuclear waste.

“As Quakers, we stand for a world free of war and its destructive legacy,” said FCNL’s General Secretary Bridget Moix. “The failure to extend radiation exposure compensation is a grievous oversight, ignoring the suffering of countless individuals affected by our recent nuclear history. These communities have endured immense hardship due to government actions and have demonstrated courageous leadership in seeking recognition and recompense. It is our moral imperative to continue to support them.”

The bipartisan proposal, championed by Senators Ben Ray Luján (NM), Mike Crapo (ID), and Josh Hawley (MO), passed in the Senate 61-37. It would have extended RECA (S.Amdt. 1058), which expires in May 2024. It would have expanded healthcare benefits and compensation to previously overlooked communities in New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, and Guam. Additionally, it would have included more areas of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and additional uranium workers.

FCNL has been at the forefront of advocating for the expansion of RECA, recognizing the opportunity to address past injustices.

“With such strong bipartisan support to extend and expand RECA, it’s beyond disheartening to see this provision excluded, especially as our nation’s military budget continues to swell,” said Allen Hester, FCNL’s legislative manager for nuclear disarmament and Pentagon spending. “Time is running out for many victims. Without Congressional action, more Americans will suffer and die without the recognition and support they rightfully deserve. This is not just a policy failure; it’s a failure of empathy and responsibility.”

RECA is currently set to expire in May 2024. If this happens, entire communities will lose crucial health coverage, cancer screenings, and many will never get the chance to apply for compensation.

Despite the disappointing exclusion of RECA, FCNL was pleased to see the NDAA extended the prohibition on in-flight refueling to non-United States aircraft that engage in hostilities in the ongoing civil war in Yemen. This helps ensure that the United States is not complicit in the ongoing civil war.

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Tim McHugh

Timothy McHugh

Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets.