- Created on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 16:54
- Written by IVN
Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA- 51) a proud cosponsor of House Joint Resolution 91, which would appropriate funding for the Department of Defense to finance U.S. military death benefits during a government shutdown, was joined by 424 other Congressional Members in support of the legislation.
“Last weekend, four service members, one of whom was from my district, were killed in action. Due to the government shutdown, their families were denied military death benefits. This is completely unacceptable,” said Rep. Vargas. “We must honor the memory of those who have given their lives for our country by ensuring that their families receive the benefits they deserve.”
As a result of the current government shutdown, the Department of Defense has been unable to pay military death benefits to eligible family members, putting undo financial hardship on those already dealing with the loss of a loved one. This bill would ensure that death benefits, such as death gratuity, payments or reimbursements for eligible funeral and burial expenses, and dignified transfer of remains are funded.
“It is inconceivable that surviving family members would be denied military death benefits because the government has been shutdown,” stated Vargas. “This bill is a necessary step to ensure that survivors of fallen servicemen and women receive their benefits, regardless of whether or not the government is operating.”
Vargas represents the California 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire US/Mexico border. Vargas is currently serving his first term in Congress. He represented the 40th California State Senate District from 2010-2012, the 79th California State Assembly District from 2000 – 2006 and served on the San Diego City Council from 1993 – 2000.