On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blamed conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the Obama administration’s initial failure to pay death benefits to the families of fallen American soldiers during the government shutdown.
In an appearance on Fox News with host Martha MacCallum, McCain said the White House has handled the situation horribly before trying to argue that Republicans were responsible for putting the White House in a position to mishandle the situation.
“I think it’s been terribly handled by the White House,” McCain said. “Let’s have a little straight talk, Martha. They wouldn’t have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool’s errand that we were not going to accomplish.”
In reference to Cruz’s defunding Obamacare strategy, McCain said the whole “premise of shutting down the government was the repeal of Obamacare,” which McCain said would never happened. Cruz’s strategy, it is worth noting, was to defund and not repeal Obamacare.
On Thursday, Obama finally signed the bill that would pay the families of America’s fallen troops nearly $100,000 in benefits. The Pentagon had suspended the payments during the government shutdown, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had initially said signing the resolution to authorize the payments was not necessary; Fisher House, a charity that helps the families of wounded and fallen soldiers, had indicated they would help cover the funeral costs and payments.