US bill requiring DU health studies passed by House Of Representatives
Other than this amendment, there are currently several pieces of DU related legislation in the House of Representatives. Including; HR 5303, the Depleted Uranium Munitions Suspension and Study Act of 2006, introduced by Representative Cynthia McKinney without co-sponsors. If passed, HR 5303 would require the suspension of the use, sale, development, production, testing, and export of depleted uranium munitions pending the outcome of certain studies of the health effects of DU munitions.
H.R. 2410, The Depleted Uranium Munitions Act, introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) has to do with health effects of exposure to depleted uranium munitions and requires the clean-up of contaminated sites where DU has been manufactured and test-fired It currently has 45 co-sponsors.
H.R. 202,The Depleted Uranium Screening and Testing Act of 2005 was introduced by Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) and would identify members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to DU and would require testing for DU exposure. The bill has 17 co-sponsors.
Last November, Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced a bill in the House, H.R. 4184, known as "You Were There, You Get Care Act of 2005". It would amend title 38 of the United States Code and would provide that veterans of the 1991 Gulf War and subsequent conflicts be considered to be radiation-exposed veterans with regard to "certain diseases and disabilities" acquired during military service. It mentions DU and would require in-depth medical studies independent of the Departments of Defense and Veterans' Affairs. It is in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee where it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. It has just 9 co-sponsors.
Legislation on the state level
Over the past year and a half, 20 different states have initiated legislation that would enable veterans who are members of the National Guard to get tested for depleted uranium exposure. Many of the bills also include provision for the setting up of a health registry. So far legislation in Connecticut and Louisiana has become law. Connecticut is planning to implement the law in the fall of 2006.
In Massachusetts similar legislation, H.B. 4591, "An Act Relative to Exposures to Hazardous Materials by Certain Members of the National Guard" has passed through several committees and may become law before the end of the year. Grassroots Actions for Peace has actively fought for it's passage as it has gone through the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Healthcare and Finance. Gretel Munroe of Grassroots spoke at the initial hearing held by the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs in February. Peggi Konner, aide to Representative Matthew Patrick, who introduced H.B. 4591, told Gretel a week ago that the bill had educated a lot of people.