Obama Admin cuts off money for funerals of fallen troops

It sounds as if military chaplain priests will be allowed by Pres. Obama to function as priests again.  HERE.

Not to worry.  They found another way to inflict pain for political gain. There might be a priest… but…

From the Washington Times:

Shutdown outrage: Military death benefits denied to families of fallen troops

At least five families of U.S. military members killed during in Afghanistan over the weekend were given a double-whammy by federal officials: Not only have your loved ones died, but due to the government shutdown, you won’t receive a death benefit.
The benefit is $100,000 and is wired to family members of the killed military member within 36 hours of the death. The so-called “death gratuity” is aimed at paying for funeral costs and to help with those living expenses normally covered by the soldier’s paycheck.

They serve as a transition pay benefit until the military’s survivor benefits begin.
The $100,000 also helps military families fly to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, while the coffins carrying their loved ones are being unloaded
The Pentagon revealed the elimination of funeral pay, along with other impacts of the shutdown, in a press release.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. frobuaidhe says:


  2. HeatherPA says:

    He is trying to provoke an insurrection or some kind of mass civil disorder… Perhaps to weed out the undesirables in plain sight?
    Imagining how horrible it will be under the Antichrist when it happens as compared to what we all feel now, and if it happens when we are atill here on Earth… at least we all got a warm up.

  3. PostCatholic says:

    No, the Congress cut off the budget to pay death benefits, and the Administration worked out a deal with the Fisher House Foundation to keep them going until it can be reimbursed. You can blame Republicans or Democrats for the budget standoff, but it’s the legislative branch that turned off the taps.

  4. Bob B. says:

    Just when you think this administration can’t get much lower …. I would like to say something that can’t be printed in mixed company, so I won’t as much as I really, really want to.
    Perhaps the VFW and American Legion can assist, too.

  5. Lin says:

    He could be the Antichrist! So many lies and so much unnecessary pain inflicted by this administration! Martial law is next! I would not be a bit surprised if he pulls that rabbit out on Friday when the truckers block the beltway around DC. They are demanding the president’s resignation. Like that will happen! He intends to take us down. Pray the rosary daily for our country!

  6. The Cobbler says:

    He’s obviously not *The* Antichrist, as the number of people who dislike him is statistically significant… not to mention that they’re predominantly at least materially heretical (Protestantism), which doesn’t strike me as a characteristic of the few truly Faithful who will oppoese The Antichrist… not to mention that he’d be hard pressed to top several dictators and emperors in history who’ve turned out not to be The Antichrist…

  7. Lin says:

    @TheCobbler……..not to mention that he’d be hard pressed to top several dictators and emperors in history”…………..He hasn’t topped them yet! I have never ever felt the presence of pure EVIL as in this present time. It would be giving him far too much credit to call him the Antichrist. He is not smart enough! But I feel like some of the Germans must of felt before pure evil took over in their country. Much prayer, confession, and priests like Father Z make life on earth bearable. I am not depressed and without hope, just very saddened. There are so many that cannot see what is happening and refuse to know the TRUTH!

  8. The Cobbler says:

    @Lin: I sure know that feeling. Keep fighting the good fight.

  9. MikeM says:

    Fisher House stepped in to provide the benefits. I’ve done a little bit of volunteering and fundraising for them and I was struck by how exceptionally well run they are. They’re really dedicated to making sure that military families are treated with honor and respect when they face difficult times. If you donate to charities outside of the Church, they’re certainly worthy of consideration.

  10. Giuseppe says:

    I take it that the president had the authority to pay these benefits and that was budgeted separately from the CR? The government would be running if John Boehner let the House vote on the CR.

  11. george says:

    Guiseppe, spending bills originate in the House. The House has passed several of them, three of which were incremental compromises with the Democrats over the Health Care bill. The Democrats are refusing to negotiate. They want it all. And since they aren’t getting it, they are inflicting maximum pain on the citizenry until they do. I believe that makes them despots.

    Just think, if Obamacare was implemented, they would be letting people die to get their way.

  12. vandalia says:

    I suggest that some people re-read the Constitution. The House of Representatives is responsible for all appropriation bills. Why did the House – under the control of the Republican party – SPECIFICALLY refuse to provide appropriations for this death benefit after 1 October? The only rational conclusion is that they are playing politics with the families of dead soldiers.

    At least the Department of Defense was able to do a work-around with the Fisher House charity to enable families to receive the money.

    So the House Republicans made a specific decision to prevent the families of soldiers who were killed in action from receiving their death benefits. The Obama Administration specifically worked with the Fisher House charity – anyone with any connection with the military knows who they are – to enable families to receive the money.

    A little truth in reporting?

  13. mightyduk says:

    “So the House Republicans made a specific decision to prevent the families of soldiers who were killed in action from receiving their death benefits”

    Regardless of your “interpretation” of the blame for the shutdown, this statement is absolutely false. The house passed a bill to protect soldiers and their families from the effects of the shutdown. The Obama administration is the sole arbiter to interpret the law regarding what gets shutdown, and so is responsible for interpreting this bill in a way that only applies to the living soldiers. So them agreeing to let Fischer house take on the cost temporarily is them cleaning up their own over-reach.

    Seriously? How can you trust an administration that capriciously and without legal obligation shuts down un-manned open air monuments, parking lots, and even roadside scenic turnouts (ie. a paved shoulder)

  14. vandalia says:

    I believe I need to make an additional comment on the blog post and my previous comment:

    1) The devil is the “Father of Lies.” Those who lie do the work of the devil. Now, I am NOT implying that anyone (well, not anyone on this board) is knowingly lying on this or other stories. There are so many rumors and so much misinformation flying around that it is difficult to know what the truth actually is. I happen to have a relative working with the Fisher House charity and thus know the exact details of this particular situation.

    2) Proportionalism – (in very simple terms) the idea that the end justifies the means is growing increasingly prevalent in society – most notably in politics. This is true across the political spectrum. This idea is in complete contradiction to the teaching of the Church. It is also completely contrary to the founding principles of this country. I did not vote for Obama. I am very upset about many of his decisions. However, I will not tolerate anything evil in the process of opposing these decisions. One may never do evil so that good may result. I believe that one’s actions and thoughts related to the political process are an appropriate topic for the daily examination of conscience.

    3) There is a very practical aspect as well – “the boy who cried wolf.” I have met a number of people who are not politically active who have heard so many stories about Obama that turn out to be false that they don’t believe anything against him anymore. The result is that our criticism of those very real and serious problems is not taken seriously.

  15. vandalia says:

    The bill they “passed” still would not have allowed the actual expenditure of funds.

  16. robtbrown says:


    I’m not sure what the actual facts are, but I do know that DC politicos commonly make those facts so convoluted that it sets them up to blame the other party.

    There was also the decision to shut down GW’s home at Mt Vernon. Barricades were erected by the NPS–an Executive decision, not Congressional. The problem is that Mt Vernon is privately funded.

  17. mightyduk says:


    only because the DOD and White House OMB interpreted that way, as you know they are the sole arbiters of what is allowed and not. Besides, the administration has shown complete disregard for the law anyway when it comes to gay “marriage”, their own Obamacare law, etc. etc.

  18. mightyduk says:

    oh and don’t forget illegal immigration, the admin seems more concerned about keeping veterans and their families away from monuments than arresting those foreigners who entered the country illegally, and are so “in the shadows” they can have a huge rally on the “closed” National Mall…

  19. MikeM says:

    Sorry, but almost everything you said is wrong.

    ” The House of Representatives is responsible for all appropriation bills.”
    While this isn’t technically wrong, it’s not as if the House can unilaterally pass a budget. When the Senate refuses to bring any budget for a vote… even one directly from the President of their own party… they’re clearly being obstructionist.

    “Why did the House – under the control of the Republican party – SPECIFICALLY refuse to provide appropriations for this death benefit after 1 October?”

    They didn’t. Obama “interpreted” that the law said that he couldn’t pay them… but, that was clearly not the House’s intent. They even specifically passed a bill authorizing pay and benefits for the military, but Obama also “interpreted” that the death benefits weren’t included. He absolutely COULD have paid the benefits… It was clearly Congress’ intent to authorize him to make those payments… and there clearly would have been no one with the interest or legal authority to challenge him on the matter, anyway. He chose not to and to turn grieving families into political pawns. It’s also worth noting that if it were illegal for the administration to pay the death benefit, it would certainly be illegal for them to agree to reimburse Fisher House for doing so. (In fact, a strong case can be made that while paying it is legal, agreeing to reimburse someone else is not…. but, it doesn’t matter, because obviously no one has any interesting in denying the families the benefit, so the matter is not going to court).

    Plus, when this situation came to light, the House tried to quickly pass a bill to specifically fund the death benefit. The Senate has yet to vote on that.

    “The only rational conclusion is that they are playing politics with the families of dead soldiers.”

    That is a totally irrational conclusion. Even if, due to an oversight, Congress had failed to authorize this spending (which it didn’t), and even if that would have been enforceable against the administration (which it wouldn’t have been), that would be a mistake, not a deliberate anything.

    “The Obama Administration specifically worked with the Fisher House charity – anyone with any connection with the military knows who they are – to enable families to receive the money.”

    The administration didn’t initiate the Fisher House program. Sen. Manshin contacted Fisher House and told them that the administration wasn’t going to pay the death benefits and that he was outraged about it. Fisher House then unilaterally agreed to give the families the money out of its pockets. Only when that was public, to avoid further disgracing themselves in a political maneuver that was backfiring on them, did the administration reach out to Fisher House.

  20. Seamus says:

    I’m no fan of the Obama administration, but this is one instance where I don’t think the law gave them any choice. “[N]o money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 7. There is no appropriation that would allow these payments.

  21. ecs says:

    C’mon you people trying to cover for Obama here. Obama has for 5 years selectively enforced and not enforced law after law and he has wantonly disregarded the United States Constitution. Not having the authority to do something has never stopped Obama from acting throughout his 5 years.

    But that aside, Obama did have the authority to pay the soldiers and he elected not to. To say otherwise is a lie.


    To the extent the GOP shares in the Progressive ideology, it is surely not to be trusted. But to blame this government shutdown on the GOP is idiotic to the extent you are sincere and diabolical to the point you are intentionally trying to deceive.

  22. ecs says:

    I will add though that where the GOP is truly at fault is not having the guts to do what was right in this regard two years ago. This fight should have already taken place trillions of dollars in debt ago. And ObamaCare never should have been permitted to get to where it is today. Ever since the GOP took over the “power of the purse” in 2010, they should have used that power far more effectively and responsibly than they have to date. However, better later than never so long as they don’t once again squander this opportunity to prevent Obama from doing further damage to the country. The only reason this fight is happening now is because a few men like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul finally stood up and made a stand. You may disagree with them which I might as a result find you to be a bit mathematically challenged and possibly not responsible enough to vote, but that’s about where it should end. They are certainly not guilty of doing what some here would apparently falsely accuse them of.

  23. MikeM says:

    The Pay Our Military Act is an appropriations bill. It says:
    ” (a) In General- There are hereby appropriated for fiscal year 2014, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for any period during which interim or full-year appropriations for fiscal year 2014 are not in effect–

    (1) such sums as are necessary to provide pay and allowances to members of the Armed Forces (as defined in section 101(a)(4) of title 10, United States Code), including reserve components thereof, who perform active service during such period… [Continues to authorize the same spending for contractors and civilian support staff.]”

    When they said “pay and allowances,” they intended to cover the entire schedule of allowances. They didn’t think that the President’s men at the DoD would be so ridiculous as to seek out the legal case against paying the death benefit as that was clearly part of Congress’ intent.

  24. jamie r says:

    It’s almost like shutting down the government has consequences. And here I thought that all those appropriations bills that congress refuses to pass just went to welfare queen cadillacs and abortions. Who could have foreseen that one of the things the government does is pay out army death benefits?

    If you’re cheering on the shutdown, and whining about the effects of the shutdown, you need to rethink your position.

    Without congress’ approval, the President has control over $0.00. You have more money right now than Obama has in his capacity as President. Unless you can identify where congress appropriated money for death benefits, there’s absolutely nothing the Obama administration can do about it.

  25. Giuseppe says:

    I prefer the baseball analogy. Remember, the government shutdown started because the House’s CR included a provision to defund Obamacare, which would be stripped in the Senate (a foregone conclusion) and if, by some strange chance, passed the Congress, would be vetoed by President Obama, after whom the health insurance provisions were named (originally by Republicans, but then claimed by Obama as a badge of honor).

    Remember, when you read about the negotiations taking place now, that this was about Obamacare. And keep in mind how often the Republicans mention Obamacare.

    I dislike Obamacare, but I dislike House Republican chicanery even more.


  26. ecs says:

    It is interesting to see the Democrat trolls that come out even on this blog when it is time to defend the indefensible. People “dislike Obamacare, but . . . dislike House Republican chicanery even more.” What an incredibly stupid comment if it is sincere. And what obvious spin if it is not.

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