Biden Signs PACT Act, Aimed At Helping Veterans Exposed To Toxic Burn Pits

(Screenshot YouTube/Grabien, President Joe Biden Delivers Remarks & Signs The PACT Act 8/10/22)

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden signed into law legislation Wednesday aimed at expanding health care to veterans exposed to toxic substances in the line of duty.

The Honoring Our PACT Act passed Congress with bipartisan support last week and addresses a policy proposal pushed by the president during his State of the Union address in March. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) believes that burn pits, which were often used to burn waste and trash during military operations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, have since sparked a host of health issues for veterans.

“We have many obligations and only one truly sacred obligation: To equip those we send into harm’s way and to care for them and their families when they come home,” Biden said during Wednesday’s bill signing ceremony. “I was going to get this done come hell or high water,” he added.


The president also mentioned his son, Beau Biden, an Iraq War veteran who died in 2015 at the age of 46 after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Biden has previously hinted that he believes his son’s cancer was related to the burn pits, though he noted during his State of the Union address that “we don’t know for sure.”

“Toxic smoke, thick with poison spreading through the air and into the lungs of our troops,” Biden said Wednesday. “When they came home many of the fittest and best warriors that we sent to war were not the same. Headaches, numbness, dizziness, cancer. My son Beau was one of them.”

The new law expands access to both health care and disability benefits for veterans suffering from issues relating to burn pits exposure, Biden explained. It also allows for families of veterans who died because of exposure to receive monthly payments and other aid. (RELATED: ‘He’s Been A Consistent D*ck’: Jon Stewart Lashes Out At Sen. Toomey Over Veteran Funding)

“This new law matters. It matters a lot. It matters a great deal,” the president said.