- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Congress’ research service says Pentagon can pay death benefits during shutdown
The non-partisan Congressional Research Service said Thursday that a special military play bill signed by President Obama on Sept. 30 can be used to pay the death gratuity to families of fallen heroes.
The Pentagon has argued otherwise. It has refused to pay the $100,000 to the survivors of six service members killed in action, saying the Pay Our Military Act does not authorize it.
Facing heat from irate American public, the Pentagon on Tuesday took the extraordinary step of accepting money from a charity to pay the benefits.
But the Congressional Research Service, in an opinion by Edward Liu, the legislative attorney, said the wording of the Pay Our Military Act aims to “provide pay and allowances to members of the Armed Forces.”
Mr. Liu said a court would likely rule that it is akin to a military appropriations bill to pay allowances such as the gratuity, even though the Pay Our Military Act does not specifically mention the death benefit.
The opinion calls the similarities of an appropriations bill and the Pay Our Military Act “clear on its face.”
“This justification makes clear that DoD was not prohibited from making death gratuity payments to the family of the fallen,” said Joe Kasper, spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, who asked for the research service opinion.
The death gratuity is one of scores of benefits officially listed by the Pentagon as an allowance for troops and thus is covered by the Pay Our Military Act, House Republicans say.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kabul, gets no invitation from Afghan President Hamid Karzai
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Rules of engagement bind U.S. troops' actions in Afghanistan
- Navy SEALs cite shabby treatment as Obama administration helps Hollywood instead
- Delta Force Marine awarded Navy Cross for fight at CIA annex in Benghazi
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- NYC alarms with notice: Immediately surrender your rifle
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow