Washington, DC - Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of legislation that would provide funding for death gratuities and related benefits for families of deceased military service members during this lapse in government operations:
"The families of our fallen soldiers should not be bearing the burden of this lapse in federal operations. We can never fully repay the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of our military, and their loved ones should not be denied the gratuities they deserve.
"Prior to the end of this fiscal year, the House passed - and the President signed into law - the Pay Our Military Act (POMA), which ensured that no military payments would be affected by a lapse of appropriations. Death gratuities for the families of our military were included in our bill; however, the Administration has failed to implement this policy as intended by POMA. Today's House-passed bill explicitly states that the Department of Defense shall distribute these payments.
"I remain committed to working toward a long-term solution to this lapse in government operations, and it is my sincere hope that the Senate will join us at the negotiating table so we can work toward ending this impasse."