“The president was very disturbed to learn of this problem,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “The president expects this to be fixed today. He was not pleased.”
House Republicans said they believed they had given the administration the authority to pay death benefits in a bill Congress passed last week and that Mr. Obama signed to make sure the troops get paid during the shutdown.
But the Pentagon initially disagreed, saying the death benefits weren’t explicitly authorized, so it halted them.
Asked why nobody warned Mr. Obama of the problem when he signed the bill last week, Mr. Carney replied, “The Republicans shut the government down. None of this would be an issue if the government were open, OK?”