Tags: barack obama | labor department | nuclear arsenal | illness

Whistleblower: Obama Admin. Continued to Deny Nuclear Payouts

Image: Whistleblower: Obama Admin. Continued to Deny Nuclear Payouts
This May 22, 2017 file photo shows the control room at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pa. (Matt Rourke/AP)

By    |   Monday, 24 Jul 2017 12:36 PM

Former President Barack Obama did not end the Labor Department's habit of refusing or delaying payouts to workers who became ill while working on the country's nuclear arsenal, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

In 2000, Congress created the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, but bureaucratic problems led to a small number of workers being compensated. It was moved from the Energy Department to Labor, and although compensation increased, so did complaints of attempts to deny awards.

Despite his condemnation of the Bush administration's actions, Obama's appointee to the department, Tom Perez, now the Democratic National Committee chairman, ignored complaints of "hostility" from the department towards workers seeking compensation.

"There's explicit hostility toward claimants, and this has become a game for bureaucrats to see how clever they can be in manipulating the statute and the regs to deny benefits to indigent claimants," Labor attorney Stephen Silbiger told the Free Beacon.

"Nobody really cares about the program — these people have no real constituency. They're rural, they're elderly, they have no political clout, so they're ignored."

The Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups, or ANWAG, applauded Silbiger for speaking out.

"I'm appalled and outraged by the mean-spiritedness of some of the people responsible for administering what was intended to be a compassionate compensation program," Terrie Barrie, ANWAG Founding Member, said in a statement. "It's a slap in the face of every worker who put his life on the line to protect our country. A full investigation into the program to determine whether claims have been adjudicated in good faith and based on the evidence is necessary."

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Former President Barack Obama did not end the Labor Department's habit of refusing or delaying payouts to workers who became ill while working on the country's nuclear arsenal, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
barack obama, labor department, nuclear arsenal, illness
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2017-36-24
Monday, 24 Jul 2017 12:36 PM
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