House scraps radiation bill vote amid bipartisan fury

By Andres Picon | 06/03/2024 06:26 AM EDT

The House had planned to vote on extending, but not expanding, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.).

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) pressured House leaders against taking up legislation to extend, but not expand, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House leaders canceled a vote this week on a Republican bill that would reauthorize federal compensation for victims of nuclear radiation, capitulating to fierce opposition from bipartisan backers of a separate, Senate-passed proposal.

The scrapped vote on H.R. 8097, the “RECA Extension Act,” from Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Utah.), comes just days before the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act is set to expire on June 7.

It’s the latest turn in a weekslong clash between supporters of the two competing reauthorization bills. It represents a setback for proponents of the House’s clean, two-year extension while keeping alive advocates’ hopes of sending the Senate’s more comprehensive reauthorization to the president’s desk.


“There is a RECA bill passed with nearly 70 votes by the Senate sitting in the House waiting for action,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a sponsor of the Senate bill, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “It’s the only viable option now. Pass it, Speaker [Mike] Johnson!”