Fitzpatrick to President: End the Games Over Military Benefits

Fitzpatrick to President: End the Games Over Military Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) took to the House floor Wednesday in support of the Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldiers Act [H.J.Res. 91] which would provide for the immediate availability of money in the Treasury for death gratuities and related benefits for survivors of deceased military service members.

Fitzpatrick called upon the President to answer how essential and non-essential spending within the Department of Defense was determined and urged the President end the practice of using military benefits as collateral.

Fitzpatrick’s speech is available for viewing HERE, a full text of his remarks is below:

“Mr. Speaker I rise today in strong support of the legislation that will be considered on the floor of the House today. Legislation which would address the unacceptable wrong of denying death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers during the budget impasse.

While I no doubt expect our chamber to pass this critical funding bill, I hope it’s passed not only in a bipartisan fashion, but I hope it’s passed unanimously in the House - the American people have a right to expect that - we must consider what has lead us to even have to legislatively fix such an obvious injustice.

The Department of Defense, even during the current impasse, is spending sums in the billions of dollars. 

How is the death benefit for members of the military not considered essential, Mr. President?

What was the decision making process to deem death benefits non-essential, Mr. President?

Who made the final call on this decision and why are you not firing that person?

This follows the same pattern that we saw earlier this year when the President cut Military Tuition Assistance.  We were able to restore those needless cuts, and, will introduce a bill to ensure the President does not continue to play games with Tuition Assistance as early reports indicate that military tuition is again held back from families.

Simply put, we’ve made promises to our fighting men and women and their families – Mr. Speaker, the House is ready to keep those promises but the President is demonstrating at best a failure to lead, and at worst, bare-knuckle partisanship.”

Watch Fitzpatrick’s floor speech HERE

Fitzpatrick also introduced legislation Wednesday which would ensure the Military Tuition Assistance benefits are funded during the budget impasse. The bill was introduced with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN).

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.