Veterans Affairs Secretary Says Benefit Payments Will Halt If Shutdown Continues

AP

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said Wednesday that if the government shutdown continues into the coming weeks, his department will not be able to ensure that Nov. 1 benefit checks are delivered.

Shinseki testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee that 5.18 million beneficiaries are expecting about $6.25 billion dollars in payments, which cover a range of benefits from tuition compensation to support for surviving spouses and children of a deceased member of the military or veteran.

House Republicans advanced a series of bills to fund portions of the government, including Veterans Affairs, in a piecemeal fashion. Senate Democrats have said those smaller bills won’t pass their chamber, and the White House has threatened to veto piecemeal legislation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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