Congress passes bill to pay military death benefits 425-0, awaiting Senate approval
WASHINGTON D.C. — Families of fallen service members are put in a tough situation, thanks to the partial government shutdown.
Normally, the government pays survivor benefits to the families of slain troops.
The benefits include a $100,000 dollar payment and money for travel to attend the funeral or memorial services or to be at Dover Air Force Base, where remains of the fallen typically arrive.
The White House says the benefits were not included in a bill Congress passed to help military families through the shutdown, but it says it is working to fix the issue.
Jay Carney, White House Press Spokesperson, "The Department of Defense informed Congress the department would be legally unable to pay death benefits were there to be a lapse in DoD appropriations, in other words, informed Congress prior to the lapse that it would be the case if there were to be a lapse. Unfortunately, this issue was not explicitly addressed as part of the Pay Our Military Act. The president was very disturbed to learn of this problem, and he directed the Department of Defense to work with the Office of Management and Budget and his lawyers to develop a possible solution and he expects this to be fixed today."
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House voted on Wednesday in favor of resuming funding for death gratuities and related survivor benefits. The bill will still have to be approved in the Senate.