Congress weighs spending cap on nuclear testing victims bill

EXCLUSIVE – The idea of placing a spending cap on an expiring program for nuclear testing victims is being discussed in the House as a way to address Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) reservations about the price tag of a proposed expansion of the fund.

Lawmakers from states not covered under the existing Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, in particular Missouri and New Mexico, have pressed Johnson to expand the program, which compensates those suffering from radiation-related illnesses attributed to government nuclear weapons testing or uranium mining.

However, the speaker, like some other Republicans, has resisted the proposal due to a 10-year cost estimate of $50 to $60 billion.

Johnson originally planned to place a “clean,” two-year reauthorization on the floor this week, ahead of a Monday deadline when the program expires, but he pulled the vote amid an uproar from the Missouri delegation, as first reported by
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