White House Expects A Solution To Military Death Benefits Issue Today

The White House expects a solution to the Defense Department being legally unable to pay military death benefits to be forthcoming Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Carney told reporters that President Barack Obama was “very disturbed” when he learned that the matter was not explicitly addressed in the Pay Our Military Act, which passed both houses of Congress before the government shutdown to ensure pay for U.S. military members. Obama asked lawyers and the Office of Budget Management to find a solution to the problem, Carney said.  

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said Wednesday before the House Veterans Affairs Committee that if the shutdown continues into the coming weeks, his department will be unable to ensure delivery of Nov. 1 benefit checks.

Update: The House voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon to pass a bill funding military death benefits.


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.