POLITICS
10/10/2013 01:10 pm ET Updated Oct 10, 2013

Bill To Provide Military Death Benefits To Families Of Fallen Soldiers Approved By Senate

A bill to provide death benefits to the families of fallen members of the military during the government shutdown was passed by the Senate on Thursday.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked the Senate to pass the House measure with unanimous consent, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not object. The bill will now go to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

Below, more from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved legislation to provide benefits to the families of fallen troops.

The Senate backed the measure Thursday, after the House approved it unanimously a day earlier.

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

That's a point of dispute with members of Congress who argue that the benefits should not be affected.

Facing controversy, the Obama administration announced Wednesday that a charity called the Fischer House Foundation would pick up the costs of the payments during the government shutdown.

This story has been updated with more from the AP.

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