October 9, 2013

The administration came up with exactly the right solution to this problem:

The House voted 425-0 on Wednesday to approve a measure that would ensure the Pentagon is able to pay death benefits to the families of U.S. service members killed in the line of duty.

The vote came shortly after the White House said President Obama has instructed the Defense Department to ensure that the roughly $100,000 payouts are made as scheduled when necessary.

Around the same time the House passed the bill, though, the legislation became somewhat moot, as the Defense Department announced it had found a donor to pay death benefits until the shutdown is over.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said his department is "entering into an agreement with the Fisher House Foundation that will allow the federal government to provide the family members of fallen service members with the full set of benefits they have been promised, including a $100,000 death gratuity payment."

The Fisher House Foundation provides temporary housing for the families of loved ones undergoing medical treatment at military and Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The Fisher House Foundation had said Tuesday that it would step in and provide the $100,000 benefit to any family members of killed troops who were being denied the money because of the shutdown. The difference now is that the Pentagon has formally agreed to pay back the Foundation after the shutdown ends.

The House bill is expected to be ignored by the Senate, because Democrats controlling the chamber have said they are opposed to approving piecemeal short-term spending measures instead of reopening the entire federal government.

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