WASHINGTON – The Senate sent to the White House legislation that would restart death benefits for families of military members who die on active duty, and the president signed the bill Thursday night even though his spokesman had said it was not needed.
“There’s an obvious, available fix” for dealing with the government services that have fallen victim to the lapse in spending authority, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “Open the government.”
[Updated, 5:40 p.m. Oct. 10: Hours later, Obama signed the bill, even though a private charity had agreed to pay death benefits to the families, taking pressure off the White House to act.]
Controversy began to swirl this week over the $100,000 in death benefits the Department of Defense usually pays out within three days of a service member’s death.