Congressional Research Service - Veterans Issues 2001
The Atomic Veterans in the USA were discussed in the 106th Congress in 2001.
Information has been obtained from WikiLeaks.
VA Budget (2001).
Congress appropriated $47 billion for programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for FY2001 (P.L. 106-377).
The Administration requested $20.3 billion in discretionary funds for VA medical care, and Congress approved that request, a $1.3 billion increase above the appropriated amount for FY2000. Congress appropriated (P.L. 106-74) $44.3 billion for FY2000, $1.8 billion above the request for that year; $1.7 billion of the difference was added to the VA medical care budget.
Concerns that certain diseases could be related to exposure to nuclear radiation during World War II or during atomic testing:
Even with inconclusive evidence of radiation exposure, Congress wanted to included language establishing a presumption that 12 diseases would be presumed service-related if they manifested in veterans whose service histories included active duty in a "radiation-risk activity"
THE VA OPPOSED PASSAGE OF THE BILL
The key factor is the use of the words - 'service histories included active duty in a "radiation-risk activity". This should include any clean up crew. So why are the Eniwetok veterans excluded. It is disgraceful.
How can an agency that is meant to fight for Veterans Affairs (the clue is in the title), oppose the bill and fight against a change which would benefit Veterans?
The full document can be downloaded here.