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White House signs bill to restore military death benefits

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Just hours after claiming the bill wasn't necessary, the White House has signed onto a measure that restores the $100,000 death benefit given to families of military members killed in action.

In a tweet Thursday evening, White Wing Reports said: "President has signed bill restoring 'death gratuities' and related survivor benefits for families of deceased military service members."

But just a few hours earlier, President Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, had said to reporters: "The legislation is not necessary," Fox News reported. Mr. Carney also said that the Defense Department had already agreed to pay back the Fisher House — the nonprofit that stepped in and offered to pay the families the $100,000 benefit.

The payment is given to families of military members who are killed during the course of duty, as a means of paying for travel to Dover Air Force Base to witness the unloading of their loved ones' remains and to help cover funeral costs and living expenses. The benefit is supposed to be paid within 36 hours of death.

During the course of the government shutdown, the payment was withheld from several families who lost loved ones in recent days — sparking a nationwide outrage and several offers from nonprofits and concerned citizens to help.

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