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article imageVA Chief: Shutdown threatens Nov. benefit payments

By William M. Schmalfeldt     Oct 9, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Just in time for Veterans' Day on Nov. 11, the Republicans in the House of Representatives are prepared to deliver a little extra surprise to the men and women who served this nation in uniform and suffered injuries related to that service.
No benefit check.
That's the warning of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki who said Wednesday that if the government shutdown continues into the coming weeks, his department will not be able to ensure that Nov. 1 benefit checks are delivered.
According to Talking Points Memo, Shinseki testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee that 5.18 million beneficiaries are expecting about $6.25 billion dollars in payments, which cover a range of benefits from tuition compensation to support for surviving spouses and children of a deceased member of the military or veteran.
House Republicans have attempted to push through legislation on a piecemeal basis, but the Senate has refused to fund only the projects approved by Republicans, and the President has vowed a veto.
The House has a clean continuing resolution before it that would open the government immediately if "Speaker of the House" John Boehner (R-Ohio) would bring it to the floor, which he refuses to do unless the President agrees to draconian cuts as a ransom payment.
(Full Disclosure: This writer is a beneficiary of monthly VA payments due to an injury suffered in the U.S. Navy.)
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