Reid feels it’s more appropriate for an outside foundation, rather than the taxpayers, to pay the families of those fallen fighting for this country.
SEN. HARRY REID: The senior senator from Texas has been always very courteous to me. Yesterday was no exception, in withholding his unanimous consent request when we discussed this issue. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon, as he indicated. And I indicated I thought if we waited until 3:30, we would have this matter resolved. That’s what I had been told. And, in fact, it was a little after 3:00 yesterday afternoon, Secretary Hagel issued a statement announcing the Department of Defense had entered into an agreement, as my friend said, with the — with the organization that my friend mentioned. And that would provide the family of fallen service members — over the weekend, the senator from Texas is right, we had four soldiers killed, one of whom was a woman. Four men and one woman.
And the agreement that the senator — that Senator Hagel came up with would give everyone to provide family members who are in the military the full set of benefits they’ve been promised, including the $100,000 death benefit gratuity. So the death benefit issue has been resolved. The Department of Defense stepped forward and took care of everything. And so this issue is largely moot. It’s clear the action on this legislation is now just for show here. We all agreed that it was a bad thing that the government shutdown led to this added grief for the families who had suffered such a terrible loss. Now we need to do what we can to prevent any further bad results — and there have been plenty of them — in other areas. The right thing to do is to prevent more of these in other areas, and the House should just vote and open the government. The issues have been taken care of and it’s terrible that we even got to this point.