President Harry Truman made famous the phrase “the buck stops here” in 1945. Things certainly have changed in the nation’s capitol in the almost 70 years since “Give ‘em Hell Harry” occupied the Oval Office. In what many on the conservative side of the political spectrum consider a prime example, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated at today’s presser that the death gratuity paid to families of troops killed was “not necessary” due to someone other than the federal government picking up the tab, as reported by Fox News on Oct. 10, 2013, and Bloomberg Business Week on Oct. 9, 2013.
Regardless that both the GOP controlled House and the Democrat ruled Senate passing a bill that would reinstate payments to the families, the Obama White House has deemed his signature of approval "not necessary" due to the charitable organization The Fisher House Foundation agreeing to front the families of fallen troops enough money to at least travel to the massive Air Force base in Dover, Delaware to retrieve the remains of their loved ones and then make the final trip home.
According to Carney, "the legislation is not necessary," but then quickly added that the DoD (Department of Defense) has already agreed to reimburse Fisher House.
Ensuring he covered his boss's six, Carney nuanced "it does mean that we don't need legislation," leaving the door slightly cracked open for a possible Obama authorization.
Despite the vast majority of the civilian federal workforce still on the job, the so-called government shutdown has ensured by Executive Order that among other things such as shutting down the WWII Memorial to WWII veterans, the $100,000 death gratuity as well as the funeral and burial expenses of our troops killed is now in a payment suspended status.
According to Pentagon spokesman Navy Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen, besides the $100,000 ready cash payment, "the military has halted benefits for survivors, including burial expenses and travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive the remains of loved ones."
In layman's terms, this means the normally three-day turnaround in the death benefit won't be paid to the families of the (currently) twenty nine members of the Armed Forces who have been killed since the shutdown took affect last Tuesday.