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US House panel to hold a markup hearing for RECA expansion bill

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The House commitee on judiciary for constitution, civil right and civil liberties is scheduled to hold a markup hearing for H.R. 5338 the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021 this week.

The bill proposed the expansion of the RECA program to include Guam, which was determined to have been exposed to nuclear fallout from the nuclear testing in the Pacific from 1946 to 1962.

The hearing will be held on Dec. 8 at 10 a..m (PST).

If enacted into law, the bill would provide medical benefits and $150,000 for eligible downwinders and extend the RECA program past 2022 and allow those eligible to file a claim.

The Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors (PARS) said the hearing "is yet another step forward to get the RECA bills to the House floor for a vote and hopefully for its passage.

PARS said Rep. Teresa Ledger Fernandez, as well as Sens. Mike Crapo and Ben Ray Lujan have vowed to move the bipartisanship bill that would compensate those who have suffered and died from cancer and other diseases from their exposure to nuclear fallout and uranium mining.

The committee has requested letters of support for H.R. 5338, especially from impacted communities.

Members from PARS have submitted written testimonies to Speaker Therese Terlaje in support of Resolution 178-36, which expresses the support of the 36th Guam Legislature for the passage of H.R. 5338 and its companion bill, S. 2798, intended to amend the RECA program to include Guam as a downwinder of U.S. Pacific test sites, extend the fund claims period, and improve compensation and benefits.

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