/ Modified oct 9, 2013 2:08 p.m.

Barber Cosponsors Bill To Pay Survivor Benefits

Government shutdown prevents paying military families who have lost loved ones; bill unanimously passed the House.



The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill today that would allow survivor benefits to be paid to those who've lost loved ones in the line of duty, even though the government shutdown prevents such payments.

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber is one of 14 members of the House who sponsored the bill, and he said it's passage is necessary in order to uphold promises to those who serve the country.

“When they stepped up to defend our nation we promised that they and their families would be cared for," Barber said on the House floor Tuesday. "Now, due to the shutdown, we have abandoned and broken that sacred commitment."

The bill passed with a unanimous vote of 425-0. It now moves to the U.S. Senate.

The situation is urgent, he said, because it's affecting families now.

“This weekend our nation lost five brave service members in Afghanistan," Barber said. "And shortly after they were killed, their families were informed our government would not pay their survivor benefits due to the federal shutdown. This is disgraceful and an outrage."

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