President Signs Bill to Restore DoD Death Benefits for Survivors

By unanimous consent on Thursday, October 10, the Senate passed H.J.Res 91, a measure allowing the government to pay death gratuity and burial benefits to the families of people who have died on active duty since October 1 despite the government shutdown. The House passed the resolution on Wednesday. President Obama signed the measure into law Thursday hours after the Senate cleared it for his signature.

The National Military Family Association is grateful to our friends at the Fisher House Foundation for working with the Department of Defense (DoD) to pay the money to the families, with the promise of being reimbursed by DoD once the shutdown ends. We thank the other charitable organizations like the Service Aid Societies who also stepped in to pay other burial expenses. While we admire the support provided by these charitable organizations to the families of those who die on active duty, we are appalled that charities were being asked to assume the government's responsibility of ensuring our families have the benefits promised to them. We're pleased that Congress passed and the President signed a bill to restore DoD's ability to make these payments. But, there are many other consequences of the shutdown that will not be fixed until an appropriations bill is passed to re-open the government in its entirety. Our Nation's leaders must end the shutdown.


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