Congressman Kevin Cramer

Representing North Dakota, At Large
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Cramer: House Passes Critical Funding for Fallen Soldiers' Families

Oct 10, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a critical funding bill for fallen soldiers’ families during the fiscal impasse. The Department of Defense suspended its payment of survivors benefits to the families of deceased military service members despite being given authority to pay its bills under the Pay Our Military Act. The legislation reiterates the intent of Congress for these benefits to be paid immediately, and was passed unanimously.

“The House deliberately gave the Department of Defense broad authority to pay its bills including this fundamental benefit to the loved ones of a fallen soldier. It is unconscionable our Commander in Chief would hesitate even for a moment to order these benefits paid,” said Cramer.

The bill explicitly provides for the payment of the death gratuity to a soldier’s family and reimbursement for funeral expenses, burial expenses, and travel expenses relating to the memorial service. Prior to the current fiscal impasse, Congress passed and the President signed the Pay Our Military Act with the clearly stated purpose of funding all military pay and allowances during a government shutdown.

The House also approved legislation today allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to remain fully staffed during the fiscal impasse.

Twelve bipartisan critical funding bills have been passed by the House since September 30. So far none have been taken up for consideration by the U.S. Senate, and most have received veto threats from President Obama.