U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today praised the unanimous passage of a bill specifically authorizing funding for military death benefits provided to families of fallen soldiers.
“Those who gave the last measure of devotion for this country deserve every measure of respect from its government,” Rep. Roby said. “I was proud to vote to restore funding for benefits we provide to families of fallen soldiers, and I’m proud that the House vote was unanimous. Political disagreements in Washington should never get in the way of our most solemn duty: supporting and honoring our military men and women and their families.”
The “death gratuity” benefit is a payment of $100,000 sent to families of members of the military killed in service to their country. Previous enactment of the Pay Our Military Act last week gave broad authority to the Pentagon to be able to pay for its personnel activities, which should have included death benefits for fallen soldiers.
Rep. Roby said she isn’t sure why the Pentagon construed the legislative intent in such a way that it affected these payments, but that moving forward with fresh legislation was the right thing to do.
“This temporary shutdown of the government isn’t good for anybody, but we can come together to fund essential services even during this situation. The Pay Our Military Act and the Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldier Act are two of 12 stopgap funding bills passed by the House, and there’s more to come. While we continue to look for ways to end the shutdown for good, I urge the Senate and President Obama to get behind our additional funding bills so that Americans don’t unnecessarily suffer during this political stalemate in Washington.”
The House has passed the following bills to restore funding to individual government functions, each with bi-partisan support:
· H.R. 3210, the Pay Our Military Act;
· H.R. 3230, the Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act;
· H.J. Res. 70, the Open Our National Parks and Museum Act;
· H.J. Res. 71, Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act
· H.J. Res. 72, the Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act;
· H.J. Res 73, the Research for Lifesaving Cures Act;
· H.J. Res. 75, the Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act;
· H.J. Res. 77, the Food and Drug Safety Act;
· H.J. Res. 85, the National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act;
· H.J. Res. 84, the Head Start for Low-Income Children Act;
· H.J. Res 90, the Flight Safety Act;
· H.J. Res. 91, the Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldiers Act.