Senator Hawley Forces Procedural Vote to Delay NDAA & Shares Stories of Nuclear Radiation Victims Betrayed by Congressional Leadership

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) shared stories from victims of government-caused radiation poisoning, after Congressional leadership stripped reauthorization of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) from the FY ’24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Hawley called for a motion that would have extended debate on the NDAA and delayed its final passage in the Senate.

The RECA program—which is set to expire in the coming months—compensates victims poisoned by the federal government through nuclear waste. A reauthorized and updated program would include numerous residents of the greater St. Louis area. Despite passing the Senate with strong bipartisan support and receiving an endorsement from President Biden, dealmakers scrubbed RECA reauthorization from the defense bill behind closed doors.

“When the government causes injury, the government should make it right. […] That’s what the radiation compensation program does—and it’s wrong to let it expire,” said Senator Hawley. […] It is a scar on the conscience of this body and of this nation. And I will come to the floor as long as it takes until we do right by these Americans who have done right by their country because they deserve better than this.”

“I realize my colleagues are all too eager to move on, but I think it is important we take as much time as is necessary to understand the stakes of what we are doing and to understand the stakes of turning our backs on these people,” he concluded.

Click here or above to watch his full remarks.

Last week Senator Hawley delivered remarks on the Senate floor, vowing to oppose the NDAA and slow down its passage. The Senate also voted on an extra procedural motion last Thursday after Senator Hawley threw up an initial roadblock upon news that RECA was removed.