President Biden on Friday took a victory lap for legislation approved by Congress that expands benefits for millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins during service.
“I made it real clear to the United States Congress, if they didn’t pass this damn burn pit bill, I was going to go on holy war. Not a joke,” Biden said. “It’s one of the most significant laws in our history to help millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service.”
Biden made the remarks during a town hall at a National Guard/Reserve Center in New Castle, Del., that is named after his late son Beau Biden.
The younger Biden served in the Delaware National Guard, and the president has suggested that his exposure to burn pits in Iraq could have been the cause of the brain cancer he died from in 2015.
“I’m no doctor, but it’s pretty clear a lot of guys and women getting sick,” Biden said. “Many when they came home had gone the best trained, fittest warriors in the world and came home with headaches, numbness, dizziness, cancer.”
He recalled when Beau Biden came home from Iraq and called him saying he collapsed during a run.
“It’s not unique to me and my family. So many are here today and around the country,” the president said.
The Delaware event is one of more than 90 events occurring across the U.S. on Friday to encourage veterans to sign up for health care, get screened for toxic exposure and submit a claim if they are experiencing a toxic exposure-related condition, according to the White House.
“There’s no place I’d rather be today to get the message out about the PACT Act than home here and here in this particular facility,” he said of the law, the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act.
Biden signed the legislation into law in August.
Biden thanked comedian Jon Stewart for his work on the toxic burn pits bill, after the former “Daily Show” host had advocated for helping veterans with illnesses related to their service.
Biden called passing the PACT Act “the first step of being, make sure that we leave no one behind.”
Source: The Hill