Biden Says He Would Have Waged A ‘Holy War’ On Congress To Get Burn Pit Legislation Passed

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden said Friday that he threatened members of Congress with a “holy war” if they failed to pass legislation expanding health care to veterans impacted by burn pits.

“I made it real clear 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.

The president made the remarks at a town hall while speaking with veterans about the legislation, known as the PACT act. The Senate passed the bill in August on a bipartisan basis, increasing medical benefits to veterans impacted by toxic burn pits during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Biden signed the bill into law in August shortly after it passed the Congress, saying at the time, “I was going to get this done come hell or high water.”(RELATED: Senate Passes Burn Pits Bill After Week-Long Fight Over Amendment Process)

“It was one of the most significant laws in our history,” the president said at the town hall.

US President Joe Biden speaks during a town hall with veterans and veteran survivors in New Castle, Delaware, on December 16, 2022. – The town hall was a discussion on the expansion of benefits and services to veterans resulting from the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden described the burn pits, saying they were the size of football fields, and that “every damn ugly thing in the world is burned in it,” including poisonous chemicals and toxic fuels.

Biden has attributed the death of his son, Beau Biden, to burn pits he was exposed to while serving in Iraq. Beau Biden died years after returning to the U.S. from a brain tumor, but the president has repeatedly claimed that he died in Iraq.

“I’m no doctor, but it’s pretty clear that a lot of guys and women [are] getting sick” from the pits, Biden added.