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House votes to reinstate military death benefits - abc27 WHTM

House votes to reinstate military death benefits

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The government shutdown shut out military families who lost loved ones.

The Pentagon typically gives $100,000 for travel and funeral costs, but recently they couldn't because of the D.C. gridlock, that is until Congress held an emergency vote on Wednesday.

Now Congress is fixing a problem even they say never should have happened in the first place. Lawmakers say they're ashamed they let military families suffer because of the shutdown.

The House unanimously voted to reinstate death benefits to military families. The Senate will vote soon; President Obama is expected to sign the bill as soon as he gets it.

The shutdown—now in its ninth day—suspended the Pentagon from issuing money to military families.

So far 26 military men and women have died, including five killed in combat, all of whom were denied death benefits.

abc27's Dave Marcheskie spoke with Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry shortly after the House vote.

"It's sickening," said Perry. "It's sickening. How do you ask future soldiers and service members to sign up? Why would they have any faith in their nation under these circumstances? It's indefensible."

Once passed, Congressman Perry says the families should be reimbursed immediately.

But without those funds up front, some families were unable to travel to Dover Air Force Base to attend fallen solider return ceremonies.

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