Congress Tackles Veterans Affairs & Military Death Benefits

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) Here's what's happening today on Capitol Hill to address the fall out of the government shutdown.

This morning the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on how VA benefits and services to veterans are being impacted.

The VA has furloughed thousands of employees since the federal government shutdown.

The Denver Post reports that 91,000 Colorado veterans could see their pension checks delayed - if the government does not re-open before November.

Nationwide, about 3.8 million veterans won't get a disability check next month if the gridlock continues into late October.

As far as veterans health care - the situation is a different story.

Congress provided money for VA's health services a year in advance, so veterans can continue getting care at hospitals and clinics.

Meanwhile, military families who saw death benefits frozen under the government shutdown, may soon see their payments.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had indicated the Defense Department did not have the authority to pay the benefits because of the shutdown.

Now the House Appropriations Committee Chairman says Republicans are drafting legislation that would restore the money.

They also say the bill could be up for a vote today.

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