Shaheen, Collins, Warner & Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Victims of Havana Syndrome

May 19, 2021

**The legislation would support U.S. Diplomatic staff and others who have suffered brain injuries from reported directed-energy attacks in Cuba, China and elsewhere** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today helped lead a bipartisan effort to support American public servants who have experienced brain injuries from reported directed-energy attacks by introducing the Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).  

The HAVANA Act would authorize the CIA Director and the Secretary of State to provide injured employees with compensation for brain injuries. Both the CIA and State Department would be required to create regulations detailing fair and equitable criteria for payment. This legislation would also require the CIA and State Department to report to Congress on how this authority is being used and if additional legislative or administrative action is required.   

“It’s unacceptable that American public servants and their families have suffered alone for years with these mysterious brain injuries, without full transparency or guarantee of treatment. Our personnel deserve better. That’s why I’ve been sounding the alarm to get to the bottom of these attacks and provide critical support to those who’ve fallen victim to these attacks,” said Shaheen. “I’m proud to join Senator Collins and this bipartisan group of lawmakers to build on my efforts and provide more equitable care for those who’ve been injured so we can ensure all those affected – regardless of what agency they served – are properly compensated for injuries they suffered while serving our country. I’ll continue to work across the aisle in Congress to make this issue a top priority and will keep raising this with the administration to form a whole-of-government response to uncover the source of these attacks and take care of those who’ve been targeted.” 

The HAVANA Act is also cosponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Angus King (I-ME) and James Risch (R-ID).

Full text of the bill is available here 

Senator Shaheen has stood by government employees and their families who have suffered from these mysterious injuries, and leads efforts in Congress to provide them critical health benefits. In the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that became lawShaheen successfully included language to expand a provision in law that she wrote last year to provide long-term, emergency care benefits to all U.S. Government employees and their dependents who were mysteriously injured while working in China and Cuba. Shaheen’s measure to amend the law followed her letter with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) last May, calling on the administration to interpret the law as intended by Congress. 

On the TODAY Show last year, Shaheen responded to the findings of a National Academy of Sciences report on these injuries and underscored the urgent need to take action to address these attacks that have targeted American public servants and their families. Despite Shaheen’s calls for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to address what the Trump administration was doing to uncover the source of these attacks and protect American public servants, Pompeo never appeared. Pompeo also never responded to bipartisan calls in the Senate led by Shaheen to detail how the Trump administration would respond to the findings of the NAS report. During Secretary of State Blinken’s confirmation hearing, Shaheen reiterated that uncovering the causation of these attacks and assisting those who’ve been injured must be top priorities for the Biden administration. In February, Shaheen spoke with CNN in an exclusive interview on developments to uncover the source of targeted sonic attacks against U.S. personnel and their families. 

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