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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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Statement from Congressman Chris Collins on the Unnecessary and Inexcusable Delay in Military Death Benefits

Oct 9, 2013
Press Release
There is no excuse or defense for why the Administration has failed to pay military death benefits to deserving families since the partial government shutdown began. 
Prior to the shutdown, Congress passed unanimously and the President signed legislation (H.R. 3210, the Pay Our Military Act) that ensured pay for active duty military would continue.  That bill provided the Defense Department the funds and ability to pay death benefits during a shutdown.  It is inexcusable that the Secretary of Defense and the President have stood by while bureaucrats in the Defense Department have failed to make these payments. 
Today, the House voted to pass a bi-partisan bill (H.J. Res 91, the Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldiers Act) that provides explicit authority to the Defense Department to disburse these payments.  It is disgraceful that today’s action was necessary to honor our commitment to the families of those service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.