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4/30/2010 6:00:00 AM
McCain introduces Downwinder bill
Measure includes all of Mohave County in compensation act

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Sen. John McCain has jumped on the nuclear compensation bandwagon. The senator from Arizona introduced a bill Wednesday that would include all of Mohave County in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

The act, passed in 1990, is designed to compensate victims who lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site, worked in uranium mines or worked at the test site and developed cancer.

This is the fourth bill to be introduced in Congress that would expand the act.

Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona was the first to introduce a bill amending the act on Feb. 26. His bill, House Resolution 4712, would extend coverage to all of Mohave County instead of just the area north of the Grand Canyon.

Sen. Tom Udall from New Mexico introduced Senate Bill 3224 on April 19. His bill would extend coverage to all of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Guam; increase the amount of compensation available for victims; and fund a five-year study of the impact uranium development had on workers and communities.

On April 22, Rep. Ben Lujan of New Mexico introduced House Bill 5119, which is similar to Udall's bill.

"The people of Mohave County deserve to see righted this unjust policy which has obstructed their ability to qualify for compensation," McCain said in a news release. "I'm hopeful this bill will help close a painful chapter for those Arizonans who were arguably the most affected by nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War."

McCain's bill, S. 3270, is similar to Franks in that it would expand compensation to all of Mohave County.

Currently, victims must have lived in one of 10 counties in Utah; five counties or part of Clark County in Nevada; or five counties or the Arizona Strip portion of Mohave County in Arizona for two years between 1951 and October of 1958 or for the entire month of July in 1962.

At the same time, they must be suffering from one of 20 different types of primary cancers or diseases that can be linked to radiation exposure.

Left off the list for compensation were residents south of the Grand Canyon in Mohave County despite the fact that Mohave County had the second highest rate of cancer in the state between 1995 and 2000. The Hualapai Nation has also been fighting to get compensation.

Related Stories:
• Gosar says he's ready to fight for Downwinders
• Flu blocks Gosar's presentation of downwinder bill

Related Links:
• Massive bill would aid Downwinders in 7 states
• Brewer hears from county Downwinders
• Franks crafts bill to recognize Mohave County Downwinders

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: J P

Why is this taking so long? Are they waiting till everyone involved dies? Sad, they know its a typo they should just fix it!

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Article comment by: D B

To: "Will The Real Sponsor Please Stand Up"
Thank you for the clarification. And thank you for putting down in words the only comment that had real information and made total sense. I applaud people such as yourself who know what they are talking about and aren't afraid to voice it where others who aren't as knowledgable can learn the facts. Again, thank you.

Posted: Sunday, May 2, 2010
Article comment by: Will The Real Sponsor Please Stand Up

Why now? Well, the reason this is all happening is because the Democrats are FINALLY in power! That's why!

This original bill to amend RECA was introduced by Tom Udall (D-NM) and a team of democrats with only a small number of not-so-conservative republicans joining.

Not only will this bill include Mohave county and others left out, but the bill will increase the amount of restitution to the downwinders from $50,000 to $150,000.

As soon as Trent Franks realized that the Dems would be seen as heroes with this, so he jumped (after completely ignoring the downwinders) and that triggered McCain to jump -- another of the Republicans who also IGNORED this problem for DECADES!

The real RECA Amendment Act was introduced by Senators Tom Udall (D) and Jeff Bingaman (D), Mike Crapo, Mark Udall, James Risch and Michael Benner and House Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.

If you want to know what else is in this bill and how it will help Mohave County, visit

Posted: Sunday, May 2, 2010
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

Hey senator, thanks. But it's too late. It would be better if you just announced your retirement and saved yourself the embarrassing defeat that's coming.

Posted: Saturday, May 1, 2010
Article comment by: Ken Moyer

I hope people are seeing what John McCain is and vote him out he is what we call a RINO republican in name only, he's gotta go....... this is just a move to get votes

Posted: Saturday, May 1, 2010
Article comment by: desert Dweller

You think maybe voters are wising up to politicians ploys? Like this save these things in the back of your diddy bag and come election time throw a bone out to the citizens...what a guy....sorry Johnny...not going to work this time, you are a day late and a whole lot short of what we voted you in for. If your competitior in this election isn't any better...he'll only last one term too!

Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010
Article comment by: Thankful Citizen Eleanore

This is a welcomed change for the Kingman Downwinders. Eleanore Fanire fought for many years to have this change. It is sad she has passed away and is unable to see her many hours of work come to fruition. Thank you Eleanore and the many others that have made this possible.

There are many families in our community that will benefit from this legislation. Eleanore worked tirelessly to help this community and the familes affected by the nuclear teating. It is time and those with family memebers affected from those test.....we thank you.

Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010
Article comment by: D B

Finally?!? You mean he FINALLY decided to "jump on the bandwagon"? Only after 3 others had recently "introduced" a bill? After 20 years of trying? Thanks bunches, John--you're a peach. And, Sen Franks, a true thank you to you--for stepping up BEFORE someone else made you look bad.

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