- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
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 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Hillary Clinton all but erased from tragic story of the attack in Benghazi
- Indiana assured that Pakistani firm working to thwart bomb makers
- Doubts on military's sex assault stats as numbers far exceed those for the U.S.
- Political hunt for sex abusers puts military justice in peril, lawyers say
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.