Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Obama Shutdown Holds Up Death Benefits To Fallen Warrior's Families
(Left to right) Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno and Special Agent Joseph M. Peters, killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Sunday. Photo: U.S. Army
Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah M. Collins Jr., 19, killed Saturday while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.
The Obama Administration has fallen to a new low, if that were possible. It is now denying death benefits to the families of fallen warriors killed in action.
The five families of the men and women pictured above received the horrible news this weekend that their loved ones would not be coming home. To rub salt in that wound, they were also informed that the normal $100,000 death benefit they were to receive would be 'on hold' because of the Obama shutdown.
That money is designed to cover transportation to Dover, DE where all coffins are unloaded, funeral expense and living expenses covered by a warrior's paycheck until the military’s survivor benefits kick in.
Remember that 83% of the government is still in operation, including 15 servants for the Obamas (down from the normal 93). And Camp David and the president's golf course are still operating.
As of October 4, 2013 and the shutdown, the federal government spent $1.1 billion in salaries for federal employees. “At the same time, it took in $25.68 BILLION in tax revenues.
Somehow the money can't be found to pay death benefits to the families of men and women who gave all, and this president and his minions think nothing of trying to exploit this for political purposes.
And this can't be laid at the feet of the House Republicans. Just before the shutdown went into effect the House and Senate passed and Obama signed a bill to see to it that our military would be paid and that full benefits would continue to be honored.
Not only did the president deliberately renege on that, but he refused to answer any questions from congress on the matter.
In his press conference yesterday, Speaker John Boehner said that the House had already passed a bill to allow the Department of Defense to fund whatever is necessary, including the Death Gratuity, for the Military. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to allow a vote on the bill, including it in the pile of 8 other bills the House has passed to fund parts of the government that he's simply sitting on.
According to Boehner, the House is going to pass yet another bill to fund the death benefits, and pass it on to senate - where Harry Reid will either allow it to come to a vote or simply stick in the pile.
But there is a slight up note in this disgraceful episode.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has been working with the Fisher House Foundation to at least ensure that the families can receive enough to cover funeral expenses and some needed funds for now.
The Fisher House generously okayed an advance grant to the the families to cover flights, hotels and other incidentals for family members until they receive reimbursement from the government.
As for our president - I think it best to censor myself here. But I don't mind saying at all that it's an embarrassment that in a society with what is supposed to be a free press, this isn't headlines nationwide.
(H/T, Maggie's Notebook)