House passes bill to restore death benefits

House passes bill to restore death benefits

Credit: Getty Images

DOVER, DE - OCTOBER 09: Army soldiers carry the flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of U.S. Army Pfc. Cody J. Patterson during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on October 9, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. According to reports, Patterson, who was from Philomath, Oregon, assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Georgia, was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan. Since the U.S. government shutdown, a benefit called the 'death gratuity' that helps families cover travel and funeral costs for fallen soldiers has gone unpaid. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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by BRADLEY KLAPPER / Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 12:59 PM

WASHINGTON -- The partial government shutdown has halted death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers, but the House has now voted unanimously for legislation that would restore those benefits.

It's unclear if the Democratic-led Senate will take up the bill, which the House passed by a 425-0 vote.

The Pentagon typically pays out $100,000 within three days of a soldier's death. But it says the shutdown means there's no authority now to pay the money.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has blamed the Obama administration for withholding the payments. But White House spokesman Jay Carney says Republicans are at fault for shutting down the government.

Carney says President Barack Obama was "disturbed" to learn of the problem and that the administration hoped to find a solution Wednesday.

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