Lawmakers, veterans and others expressed outrage Tuesday over the Pentagon’s view that the shutdown is preventing it from making quick $100,000 payments to the relatives of slain troops intended to help cover funeral costs and expenses for bereaved survivors.
The families of 17 members of the military who have died since the shutdown began last week haven’t received the cash payments, said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran and head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Bipartisan groups of lawmakers quickly introduced bills and fired off letters to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a bid to get the money flowing again.
japan urges against default
Japan’s finance minister urged the United States to avoid a default that could cast the global economy into turmoil and hurt the value of Japan’s holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds, a day after similar warnings from China. China and Japan, the two largest foreign creditors of the United States, are growing increasingly worried over the potential economic and political fallout if U.S. leaders do not strike a deal to lift the debt ceiling. “The U.S. must avoid a situation where it cannot pay, and its Triple-A ranking plunges all of a sudden,” said Japanese finance minister Taro Aso. “The U.S. must be fully aware that if that happens, the U.S. would fall into fiscal crisis.”
the latest efforts in congress
House: Senior GOP aides said the next batch of legislation would include funding for border security, nuclear weapons security and benefits that go to survivors of U.S. service members who die on the battlefield.
Senate: Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., gave no indication that the Senate would take up any of the piecemeal bills that Boehner is passing in the House. Reid is offering to suspend the debt ceiling until the end of 2014, which would probably lift the limit by an additional $1 trillion. That legislation was expected to be formally unveiled late Tuesday or early Wednesday, setting up a first key procedural vote Saturday.