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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama demanded immediate action after learning the U.S. government shutdown had cut off death benefits to relatives of war dead, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Obama expected a solution by the end of Wednesday, Jay Carney said, adding the U.S. leader was “disturbed” to find out the payments had stopped after budget funds for the Pentagon dried up.

The move followed media reports about the plight of four families who recently lost relatives serving in Afghanistan and were not able to access $100,000 in death benefits, housing allowances and financing for burial costs after the government closed a week ago.

“The president was very disturbed to learn of this problem and he directed the Department of Defense to work with the Office of Management and Budget and his lawyers to develop a possible solution,” Carney said.  “The president expects this to be fixed today.”

Carney said the Pentagon had previously informed Congress that it would be legally unable to pay death benefits should the government close.

He also accused Republicans of causing the problem by shutting down federal operations by not passing a new budget before October 1, and for not including the provision in a bill already signed by Obama to ensure soldiers on deployment still get paid during the shutdown.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    I don’t want to be cruel, but if the president keeps giving them little pieces, they can eventually just announce the crisis is over because they don’t care to fund any of the other things. This willingness to “compromise” (the only thing being compromised is usually the promises he made to, and the trust of, his supporters) seems to me at least part of the reason we now sit in the position we’re in.

    He needs to make it clear he’ll “stand up at the gates of Hell” finally, after 5 – or has it been 6 – years of withering and crumbling before many of the insane demands made in the name of “compromise” and “changing our politics,” or they’ll just continue to eat him for breakfast. At this point, do they even need to win the Senate? The Republicans have been running much of our government since Obama took office, even when Democrats had both houses. Perhaps it was the usual mid-term indifference, but I have to think part of the reason for the GOP’s 2010 win was the bitter disappointment most of us felt. I went and voted in my district, where the Democrat had no hope, but I bet a lot of people didn’t, even where the Dem had a chance, or was even the favorite.