Missouri radiation victims lobby for more funding

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Victims of radioactive contamination are refusing to be ignored by Congress. Thursday, a group returned to the Capitol demanding lawmakers compensate additional victims of the Manhattan Project in their foreign aid package.

“My son is 18 years old, he wasn’t alive for WWII, is a sacrifice for WWII,” says Dawn Chapman a mother from St. Louis.

Chapman and Missouri state Legislature Rep. Chantelle Nickson Clark are among the victims from St. Louis who say they and their families have paid the price.

“I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor,” said Nickson Clark,” My mother died from breast cancer, my aunt died from breast cancer…. I have a nephew who had a brain tumor we all lived and raised in North County.”

Sen Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) who met with victims Thursday, is promising to file an amendment to an upcoming foreign aid package to help Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

“There is nothing more serious, foundational, fundamental to our national security than to take care of the Americans who have literally given their lives in defense of this country,” says Hawley.

Although Congress reauthorized funding for communities already recognized under the Radiation Exposure and Compensation Act. The extended funding to help victims in Missouri and New Mexico was stripped out of last year’s defense bill. It passed with bipartisan support in the Senate.

Hawley says the new version covers victims in even more states like Tennessee, Alaska and Kentucky, home of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

“My message to leadership and certainly to Leader McConnell ‘don’t let Americans die’,” says Hawley.

McConnell’s office did not reply to a request for comment.

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