House passes bill to restore death benefits
Washington • The Republican-led House has passed legislation to restore death benefits to the families of fallen U.S. soldiers halted by the government shutdown.
The vote split across party lines with most Democrats voting against and demanding the entire government be reopened. It’s unclear if the Democrat-led Senate will take up the bill. The Pentagon typically pays out $100,000 within three days of a soldier’s death. But it says the shutdown means there is no authority now to pay the money.
House Speaker John Boehner has blamed the Obama administration for withholding the payments. But White House spokesman Jay Carney said Republicans were at fault for shutting down the government.
He said President Barack Obama was "disturbed" to learn of the problem and that the administration hoped to find a solution Wednesday.