Pentagon freeze on death benefits sparks outrage

Tuesday - 10/8/2013, 6:00pm EDT

BRADLEY KLAPPER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senators are expressing outrage that families of fallen U.S. military personnel are being denied death benefits while Democrats and Republicans grope for a way to end the partial government shutdown.

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

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the lack of compensation for the families of five soldiers killed in Afghanistan this weekend is "appalling."

Sen. John McCain says it explains why Congress has historically low approval ratings. McCain asks, "Shouldn't we be ashamed?"

And fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says his message to the families is, quote, "Your government has let you down in a time of your need."


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