The House of Representatives voted unanimously this afternoon to restore military death benefits to family members of fallen soldiers. The $100,000 benefit is usually delivered to family members within three days, but late Wednesday we learned due to the partial government shutdown, payments would not be sent out.
The vote, 425-0, came hours after grieving relatives, denied the help because of the budget impasse in Washington, watched the flag-draped caskets of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan returned to American soil.
The House of Representatives passed legislation last week to ensure military benefits would be delivered, but Department of Defense and White House attorneys determined the legislation didn't cover death benefits for military families.
The $100,000 payment is being withheld for the families of four soldiers -- two of them Army Rangers -- and one Marine, who were killed while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. The bodies of the four soldiers will be returned to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday.White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during the daily briefing today President Obama expects benefits to be restored by the end of the day. We haven't heard directly from the president about the issue. It is now up to the Senate to pass the legislation.
Earlier today I talked about the lack of benefits on America's Newsroom: