Veterans Affairs Secretary Says Benefit Payments Will Halt If Shutdown Continues


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.