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Public Statements

Military Family Benefits During Shutdown

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. ELLMERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share with this body and the American people a great injustice. A few moments ago, one of my colleagues from Texas, from across the aisle, spoke of this as well. So as you can see, there are many times that we all can come together and agree upon certain items and move the American people forward in a better way; however, this particular situation is unthinkable.

A great injustice is being done to our servicemembers and their families. We learned last night that five brave American servicemembers were killed over the weekend in Afghanistan while selflessly protecting our country. Normally, Mr. Speaker, the loved ones of these fallen warriors receive assistance in the form of benefits to help them make those final arrangements for burial and other necessary preparations. Yet, as a direct result of the political gridlock here in Washington and despite legislation passed in this House last week with great bipartisan support, servicemembers and their families are no longer receiving their benefits.

Mr. Speaker, despite the government shutdown, our servicemembers are still expected to go to war, knowing full well that they may pay the ultimate sacrifice for this great Nation, and we should be expected to keep our promises to their family members. I am working, as we speak, to right this wrong, and I urge all of my colleagues to do the same.

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