Congressman Cohen Presides at Hearing on the Need to Expand Eligibility Under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

March 24, 2021
Press Release
Says “this is not a local issue; this is a national issue”


MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, today presided at a hearing on “the Need to Expand Eligibility Under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.” The hearing explored the impact of downwind and other radiation exposure from nuclear bomb testing and uranium mining and other uranium workers during the Second World War and during the Cold War, and the need to compensate the many victims not currently eligible under RECA.

During his opening statement, Congressman Cohen said:

“Starting in the 1940’s with the development of the atom bomb during World War II and spurred on by the ensuing Cold War with the former Soviet Union, the U.S. government embarked on a decades-long program of nuclear weapons development...The federal government in many ways failed to adequately protect or warn people about the potential hazards associated with its atomic weapons development…Congress passed RECA over thirty years ago to acknowledge that fact, as well as the fact that while the whole country may have benefited from the purported security resulting from the development of atomic weapons, certain individuals and communities disproportionately bore most of the harms and risks that came with it.”

See Congressman Cohen’s entire opening statement here and his questioning of expert witnesses here.

Witnesses at today’s hearing were:

  • Ms. Lilly Adams
    Independent Consultant Specializing in Nuclear Weapons Issues;
  • Ms. Jean Bishop
    Supervisor District 4, Mohave County, Arizona;
  • Ms. Tina Cordova
    Co-Founder, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium;
  • The Honorable Ben Ray Lujan
    United States Senator, New Mexico;
  • Mr. Jonathan Nez
    President of the Navajo Nation;
  • The Honorable Greg Stanton
    Member of Congress, Arizona-09; and
  • Mr. Scott D. Szymendera
    Analyst in Disability Policy, Congressional Research Service.