Death Benefits for Military Killed Overseas Halted Due to Shutdown

Posted: Oct 09, 2013 6:50 AM
Death Benefits for Military Killed Overseas Halted Due to Shutdown

Families of military members killed overseas will not be receiving death benefits and will not be flown to Dover Air Force Base to receive the dead as long as the government continues to be partially shutdown. More from Fox News:

The Pentagon says that as long as the budget impasse lasts, it will not be able to pay death benefits to the families of troops who've been killed in combat.

“After losing a loved one in service to our nation, these families should not have to endure more pain as the result of political squabbling,” Ken Fisher, the foundation's chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement. “For the last 20 years, Fisher House has been there to support our military families in their time of greatest need. We are now stepping up to honor the sacrifices that have been made, and to repay a debt that is truly unpayable.”

Speaker John Boehner blasted the Obama administration Tuesday for withholding the payments. He said Congress gave the Defense Department broad authority to continue paying bills such as the death payments in a law passed just before the partial government shut down on Oct. 1.

Last week the House passed the Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act funding for veteran services. Two weeks ago, the House passed two pieces of legislation funding the entirety of the U.S. Government while delaying or defunding Obamacare. All legislation has been rejected by the Senate and President Obama.

But there is good news for military families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the Maryland Fisher House Foundation has offered to pay death benefits.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Tuesday that the Maryland-based Fisher House Foundation has offered to cover the $100,000 payments that the government typically pays out to families within three days of a soldier's death.

"I am so grateful that the Fisher House Foundation volunteered to help military families to make sure there is no funding gap during a time of unimaginable grief, " Manchin said in a statement, adding that the organization has agreed to cover flights, hotels and other incidentals for family members.

As Byron York pointed out earlier this week, 83 percent of the U.S. government is still functioning. It is completely unacceptable for death benefits to be delayed to military families. Between the barricading of the WWII Memorial in order to keep WWII veterans out and now this, it's crystal clear how this administration feels about our military members.

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