House passes bill restoring benefits to fallen soldiers’ families

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The House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation that would assure that families of fallen soldiers are given the death gratuity benefits they were promised, but not given, because of the government shutdown.

The vote was 425-0.

The legislation provides one way that the “death gratuities” designed to assist the families of deceased soldiers with funeral and travel costs can be restored as the government shutdown drags on.

The White House also says it has directed its lawyers to work with the Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon to find a solution outside of legislative action.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that a solution is expected by the end of Wednesday.

“The president expects this to be fixed today,” he said.

The vote in the House could start a fast-track process to solve the payment issue, although it’s not clear whether the legislation or executive branch action will be the ultimate fix for the problem.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that the benefits will be restored “without any question.”

Reid said that the Senate will “see what the House does” and that the White House and the Pentagon are also working together to see if they can “do something about” the issue as well.

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