Today, the Pentagon confirmed it will not pay death benefits to the families of troops killed in combat during the partial government shutdown.
In his press conference, this afternoon, Obama actually admitted that he won’t approve any measures to partially restore suspended government payments for what amounts to political reasons…
“Unfortunately, as a result of the shutdown, we do not have the legal authority to make death gratuity payments at this time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman. “However, we are keeping a close eye on those survivors who have lost loved ones serving in the Department of Defense.”
The House intends to vote Wednesday to restore funding for the payments. Speaker John Boehner has accused the Obama administration “of needlessly withholding the money.”
“Our veterans should be beyond partisan politics regardless of the shutdown”, Senator Cruz said on the Senate floor in response to the outrage.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) today addressed the Senate floor urging the Senate to move forward with passing Continuing Resolutions to fund essential parts of the federal government. He specifically asked for unanimous consent to pass the House bill that will fund the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but Sen. Harry Reid again objected. Following are excerpts of his remarks:
“The House of Representatives has passed eight separate bills funding vital priorities of the government. All eight of those bills now sit on the Majority Leader’s desk… It seems to me we’re going to have political differences, and those political differences are not going away any time soon, but we ought to be able to say, regardless of what happens in the battle over the shutdown, our veterans should be beyond politics.
“We should have bipartisan agreement. Let’s stand for our veterans. Right now, veterans’ disability payments are not funded… The only thing in the way of funding the V.A. today is the Senate voting to do so, is the objection that the Majority Leader has raised to funding the V.A.”
“If we could work together in a bipartisan manner to say we’re not going to hold the men and women of the military hostage, why can’t we work together in a bipartisan manner to say we’re not going to hold our veterans hostage?”
“Likewise, the House of Representatives has passed a bill funding our parks and national memorials. We have seen, day after day, World War II veterans coming to the World War II Memorial and facing barricades that the administration has put up, that the administration has expended money to keep them out.
“The House has passed a bill to fund our parks and our memorials. Let me suggest if the Senate would only vote, we could open every park and memorial in the country. The House has passed a bill to fund FEMA. If the Senate would only vote, FEMA could be funded. The House has passed a bill to fund the National Institutes of Health so that we could provide vital cancer research. The majority leader spoke quite passionately just moments ago about the need to fund the national institutes of health. I agree with the majority leader. And I would ask the majority leader to withdraw the objection he has raised to funding the NIH.”
“Some have disparaged the House’s approach as a ‘piecemeal approach.’ Mr. President, let me note that is the traditional means of appropriating and legislating that for centuries this body has done.
Right now, the House of Representatives is working constructively to fund vital priorities, and unfortunately President Obama, the Majority Leader and Senate Democrats are refusing to negotiate, refusing to compromise. That’s not a reasonable approach. It’s not a path that will lead to resolving this. And so I hope we come together, resolve this, fund our vital priorities, and at the same time respond to the millions of people who are hurting because of Obamacare, who are losing their jobs, who are pushed into part-time work, who are facing skyrocketing insurance premiums and who are losing their health insurance. We need to answer the call of our constituents.”
The Regime is withholding from the families of 25-year-old 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno; 24-year-old Pfc. Cody J. Patterson; 24-year-old Special Agent Joseph M. Peters; 25-year-old Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins; and 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Jeremiah M. Collins, Jr. the $100,000 payment that they would have otherwise received within three days of the death.
Cruz said, “the way this announcement was made was highly troubling… The DOD notified our Military families via Twitter that those service members who die in battle will not be paid their tax free death gratuities due to the partial federal government shut down. This is yet another pattern we have seen distressingly from the Obama administration of politicizing the shutdown and playing partisan games to maximize the pain that is inflicted on Americans it is part and partial of the pattern we’ve seen barricading the WWII memorial, barricading the parking lot at Mt Vernon George Washington’s home even though it’s privately operated, barricading the roads leading to Mt Rushmore even though they’re state roads and not federal roads.
And the actions by the DoD are also contrary to the statute this body just passed. The Military Death Gratuity is by statute a pay and personnel benefit, and accordingly it is clearly funded by public law 113-39 the pay our Military Act that was passed in a bipartisan manner this week. We’ve already acted to prevent this and unfortunately, the DoD is declining to follow that law that we passed.”