CNN: President Says Death Benefits for Military Families To Be Restored Today
(CNN) – President Barack Obama was disturbed to learn that death benefits were not being paid to survivors of fallen military survivors as a result of the partial government shutdown and has directed the Pentagon, the Office of Management and Budget and White House lawyers to figure out a way to address the problem, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.
The president expects the problem “to be fixed today,” Carney said.
Normally the families would receive a $100,000 death benefit and the government would cover the cost of flying to Dover Air Force base in Delaware, where flag-draped caskets return.
This benefit was impacted by the government shutdown.
“Shouldn’t we as a body, Republican, Democrat, no matter who we are, shouldn’t we be embarrassed about this? Shouldn’t we be ashamed?” asked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. on Tuesday.
CBS News reports that before the shutdown, Congress passed a bill “authorizing the government to keep paying and supporting the troops.” The language however, according to the Pentagon’s interpretation, did not permit payment of the death benefit — a fact which Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., warned about ahead of time on Sept. 30.