In response to Cruz Blasts Obama Administration For Politicizing Shutdown to Maximize The Pain Inflicted On Americans :
The White House is putting the blame on Congress for not passing a law that specifically appropriated funds for the delivery of benefits to military families of fallen soldiers. According to David French at The Corner, “the Department of Defense’s civilian masters have made an incredible choice, one that no line unit in the military would ever make if it had control over funding for its own soldiers and their families: to exclude death benefits from the “pay and allowances” appropriated by Congress.”
There are two simple fixes. The simplest is for the Department of Defense to interpret the statute consistent with Congress’s intent and fund military benefits. The second is to pass correcting any ambiguity in the Pay Our Military Act.
This afternoon, the House voted 425-0, to authorize the expenditure of funds for the death gratuity.
Meanwhile, in his daily press briefing, today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed Republicans, saying it was they who had shut the government down – “none of this would be an issue if the government were open,” he told ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
Carney assured everyone that the president had directed the OMB and his lawyers to come up with a solution to the problem, and they expected it to be taken care of, today.
But Jonathan Karl pressed, “what I don’t understand is — there’s discretion clearly in deciding who’s essential, who’s not essential, who’s furloughed and who’s not furloughed….how could there not have been a decision made – if there’s anything that’s essential, it would be taking care of those who lost loved ones in the field of battle?”
Carney reiterated his talking points about how the DoD had informed Congress that this would be a consequence of a shutdown and as soon as “the Commander in Chief” found out that this wasn’t addressed, he directed that a solution be found. And he chided Karl for “editorializing,” but most would call what Karl did there “his job.”