From the Associated Press:
Obama signs bill to pay military death benefits
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and DONNA CASSATA | October 10, 2013
WASHINGTON — Families of fallen troops will be assured of receiving death benefits under legislation President Barack Obama signed Thursday amid a national firestorm after the Pentagon suspended the roughly $100,000 payments during the partial government shutdown.
Obama signed the bill into law after it won final passage in the Senate earlier in the day.
You see? Obama carried the day and won death benefits for the military, despite the Republicans. At least that is what the AP hopes you will think after reading its headline and lead paragraphs.
Even though the truth is Obama and his lawyers tried their best to do an end run around ‘The Law Of The Land’ in order to inflict more pain and cause more outrage over the
But his chief spokesman, Jay Carney, had said the measure was unnecessary because a military charity had stepped in to continue the payments. Carney also had declined to say whether Obama would sign the bill, which reinstates benefits for surviving family members, including funeral and burial expenses, and death gratuity payments.
In other words, even yesterday Obama still didn’t want to sign this bill. But that was before the latest internal polls came in. Now, suddenly, it was all Obama’s idea from the start.
The Pentagon typically pays out $100,000 within three days of a service member’s death. It said 29 active-duty service members have died since Oct. 1, when parts of the government shut down in a dispute between the White House and Congress over the president’s health care law.
The Pentagon had said the lapse in funding meant it had no authority to continue the payments, but that explanation that did not sit well with members of Congress in either party. The Pentagon said a law allowing members of the military to be paid during the shutdown did not cover the death benefit payments. Congress passed and Obama signed that measure into law before the shutdown began, and lawmakers insisted the benefits shouldn’t have been affected…
In other words we are supposed to believe the Pentagon refuse this money on their own. We are also supposed to believe that Obama’s lawyers knew more about the bill than the people who wrote and passed it.
In stepped the Fisher House Foundation, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday would cover the costs during the shutdown. Hagel said the Pentagon would reimburse the foundation after the shutdown ends. The government could not actively solicit funds from private organizations but could accept an offer…
And never mind that they said they couldn’t do this for the national parks.
The bill is the second “piecemeal” measure Obama has signed to hold the military harmless during the shutdown. At the same time, the White House has threatened vetoes of other “piecemeal” measures passed by the Republican-controlled House to continue funding for certain government operations. The White House has said the House should reopen the entire government and not choose to fund some agencies and programs over others.
Obama also supports House-passed legislation to provide back pay for thousands of federal workers forced off the job because of the shutdown.
In other words, Obama is only too happy to ‘cherry pick’ what he will and won’t fund.
Across the Capitol, Republicans on a House Armed Services panel excoriated Pentagon comptroller Robert Hale, accusing him of playing politics with his interpretation of the original law. They said the law was designed to pay the death benefits as well as keep all Defense Department civilians on the job — not to select the most essential.
“You went out of your way to make this as ugly as possible, to inflict as much pain as possible on this department,” said Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., who introduced the first bill days before the shutdown in an attempt to exempt the military…
What does the guy who wrote the bill know about the law”