Bill To Provide Military Death Benefits To Families Of Fallen Soldiers Approved By Senate

A bill to provide death benefits to the families of fallen members of the military during the government shutdown was passed by the Senate on Thursday.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked the Senate to pass the House measure with unanimous consent, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not object. The bill will now go to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

Below, more from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved legislation to provide benefits to the families of fallen troops.

The Senate backed the measure Thursday, after the House approved it unanimously a day earlier.

The Pentagon typically pays out $100,000 within three days of a soldier's death. But officials say the shutdown means there's no authority now to pay the money.

That's a point of dispute with members of Congress who argue that the benefits should not be affected.

Facing controversy, the Obama administration announced Wednesday that a charity called the Fischer House Foundation would pick up the costs of the payments during the government shutdown.

This story has been updated with more from the AP.

2013 Government Shutdown