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Senate chaplain chides body over veteran benefits

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Senate Chaplain Barry Black hasn’t been shy of late in calling out lawmakers in his daily opening prayer on the chamber floor.

Typically a nonpartisan piece of tradition, his recent prayers have chided senators for failing to find a way out of the spending stalemate that led to a government shutdown.

Mr. Black, a retired Navy rear admiral, took his daily message into solemn territory on Wednesday by highlighting the lack of death benefits to the families of fallen U.S. soldiers, halted by the Veterans Administration because of the shutdown.

“When our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on faraway battlefields, it’s time for our lawmakers to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” he prayed. “Cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness. Forgive us, reform us and make us whole.”

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