House votes to restore military death benefits - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

House votes to restore military death benefits


Congress is working to fix unintended collateral damage from the shutdown side-effect that's embarrassed both parties: Death benefits not being paid to the families of fallen American soldiers.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel went to Dover Air Force Base Wednesday amid outrage that the shutdown standoff went too far.

The remains of four U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan were returned, but because of the shutdown the usual $100,000 death benefits to help families with expenses were not paid.

So far 26 families have been affected.

Hagel and President Obama are said to be very disturbed.

Meanwhile, veterans won't get benefit checks next month due to the shutdown.

Republicans blamed Democrats, while the White House admitted death benefits should have been restored when troops were guaranteed pay.

The House voted unanimously for a remedy, and some saw signs of more bipartisanship that could lead to a larger deal on ending the shutdown.

After the House vote, the Pentagon announced that the private Fisher Foundation will pay the full death benefit to military families and later be reimbursed by the government.

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