Skip to comments.Shutdown Denies Death and Burial Benefits to Families of 4 Dead Soldiers
Posted on 10/08/2013 11:06:28 PM PDT by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
WASHINGTON The families of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend will not receive death benefits or the money to pay for their funerals because of the government shutdown.
The bodies of Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25; Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24; Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24; and First Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, will arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday. The four soldiers were killed Sunday in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province when enemy forces attacked their unit with explosives.
But if their families want to meet the plane, they will have to pay their own way to Delaware.
Under the shutdown, Carl Woog, a Defense Department spokesman, said on Tuesday, the Department of Defense does not currently have the authority to pay death gratuities and other key benefits for the survivors of service members killed in action.
The benefits include $100,000 to each family; a 12-month basic allowance for housing, usually given in a lump sum to survivors commensurate with the rank of the service member; and burial benefits. The benefits are also being withheld from the family of Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins Jr., 19, of the Marines, whose death on Saturday in Helmand Province is being investigated by the Pentagon.
New hardships caused by the shutdown seem to emerge every day as the standoff between President Obama and Congressional Republicans entered its second week. But the denial of benefits to the families of fallen soldiers however temporary led to an unusual burst of outrage.
Senators took the floor to express their anger. In the House, members scrambled to write a bill to remedy the problem.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
>> Senators took the floor to express their anger.
With all that’s going on, THIS....THIS right here is what should have been the ‘trigger’, the “GO code”.
Has ObamaPhone service been interrupted? Have the extra costs of closing parks and monuments been cut?
The Republicans need to blast Obama every time he pulls this crap. This is shameful but a man without shame wouldn’t know and needs to be shamed relentlessly.
I think this is a load of bull. I simply do not believe that the SecDef, or any number of high-ranking people in the Pentagon, lack the authority or ability to be able to make some arrangement that would see to it these men got a proper burial, regardless of the budget negotiations.
This is beyond shameless.
Each and every one of the four worth six times the *sshole in the White House.
Can Congress fix ‘shameful’ military death benefit lapse?
By Carrie Dann, Political Reporter, NBC News
That bill appropriated such sums as are necessary to provide pay and allowances to members of the Armed Forces as well as money for some civilian personnel and contractors considered essential to the support of soldiers. The bills drafters say it was intended to cover survivor benefits as well.
But after reviewing the law, the Defense Department concluded that it cannot send payments to affected families because the law did not specifically grant them the authority to pay anyone other than the service members themselves. That legal determination, one official said, was ultimately made by inter-agency legal counsel meaning Department of Defense, Department of Justice and White House lawyers.
On Tuesday, Boehner argued that the Pay Our Military Act gave broad authority to the Department of Defense to pay all kinds of bills, including the death benefits issue.
The sentiment was echoed by Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “Judging by the Department of Defense’s own summary of those programs, we believed that ‘death gratuities’ would continue to go to the families of those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. Without question, that was our clear intent.”
$5 - 10 - $20 = this is how we do this - we do not wait on the gov’t.
Waddaya' need a bill for ?
How about arresting chuck hagel ... THAT would be righteous.
Obama denied it. Reid denied it.
This is one hardship there is no excuse for.
It is inexcusable..
Impeach this ant-American SOB running this country.