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House Moves To Reinstate Military Death Benefits

From Stars and Stripes:

Congress moves to reinstate military’s death gratuity amid shutdown

By Leo Shane III | October 8, 2013

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers scrambled Tuesday to find a budgetary fix to resume death gratuity payments to families of troops killed overseas, the latest surprise side-effect of the week-old government shutdown.

Call this gratuitous punishment. Call it overkill. But the last thing this was was a "surprise side-effect." This is exactly the kind of thing Obama wanted from the shutdown, and before that, from the sequester.

Also notice that the headline for this piece is misleading. The Republican-controlled House moved to fix this. The Senate and Obama will probably reject their efforts on this, too.

Over the weekend, Defense Department officials acknowledged that the shutdown had halted the $100,000 payouts given to fallen troops’ families, usually paid within a few days of their deaths.

At least five U.S. servicemembers have died in Afghanistan since the start of the month.

“Despite the recall of most civilians and the resumption of many activities across the Department of Defense, there are critical programs and benefits that remain halted,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

The news prompted outrage among veterans advocates. Officials from the American Legion voiced their support for any legislation that would restore the payouts. Leaders from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors said the stoppage could cause unnecessary hardship for already grieving families.

Republican leaders in the House said Tuesday they are working on a legislative solution to the problem, one that would extend military leaders’ authority to quickly distribute the gratuities again.

But whether such a measure could become law remains unclear.

After all, ‘why would the Democrats want to do that?’ To quote Harry Reid.

Last week, just hours after the shutdown began, Congress last week approved legislation ensuring that military members would continue to receive their paychecks. But other attempts to fund veterans programs, national parks and other individual agencies have been met with opposition from Senate Democrats…

Pentagon officials said the shutdown restrictions have also halted reimbursements for families traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to witness the return of fallen troops, paying for memorial services and burial expenses, and traveling to visit wounded troops.

In addition, Veterans Affairs officials have warned that survivor benefits and other veterans payouts could be jeopardized if the shutdown continues into late November.

As the article notes in passing, the Republican controlled House has already voted to fund all of these veterans programs. But Harry Reid refused to even put their bill up for a vote. And Obama has vowed to veto any such bill.

Which are things to bear in mind the next time you hear Obama talking about how much he cares about veterans and their families.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “House Moves To Reinstate Military Death Benefits”

  1. captstubby

    but Steve, how will Citizens know this if the they are not told the truth by the Media?
    the Revolution should begin with the real Traitors.

    • Yes, you’re exactly right the media should be the first victims. Last night on Kelly file a rep congressman said that they passed a law before the shut down that specifically targeted this reimbursement. Chuck Hagel and the Pentagon did this on purpose and should be dragged out into the strret, lined up against a wall and shot.

    • Petronius

      Noyz: “Hagel and the Pentagon did this….”

      Yes, but it was cleared by the White House.

      First Hagel ran it by the DoD lawyers, who are Nerobama’s political appointees.

      Next the DoD lawyers coordinated with the White House Counsel, Kathy Ruemmier, a product of Georgetown Law and the DC office of Latham & Watkins, the fifth largest law firm on the planet by revenues.

      Ruemmier gave Hagel the green light.

      Ruemmier was also responsible for stonewalling various requests for documents by Congressional investigative committees, and for approving Nerobama’s recess appointments when the Senate was not in recess (appointments later held by the DC Circuit to be unconstitutional, but, hey, the goons are still holding down their sinecures, so what difference do court orders make?).

    • Is this truth you speak Approved™? If not Approved™ by Great Leader, see Ruemmier for Hall Pass ..


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