WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's the controversial decision that's got residents across Delmarva and the nation fired up: cuts to benefits for families of fallen troops.
A resolution may be closer after the Department of Defense reached an agreement to pay those families. In a written statement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said they're working with charity the Fisher House Foundation and the government will reimburse them once the shutdown is over.
It reportedly includes funeral and burial services, as well as travel for memorial services typically performed at Dover Air Force Base.
WMDT spoke with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) before the announcement about Tuesday night's letter penned to Hagel to provide immediate death gratuity payments to military families during the government shutdown.
"All of us were determined to make sure that we respect and honor our service members by making sure that their families are there at Dover Air Force Base to welcome home their fallen heroes," said Sen. Coons. "What we need to do is not pass a whole series of little piece meal bills funding particular parts of the government, but to get the government reopened."
Sen. Coons wasn't the only political official speaking his mind.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) released this statement:
"I applaud Secretary Hagel and the Department of Defense for finding a solution to restore benefit payments to families of fallen soldiers. This is the least we can do for our nation's military families who sacrifice so much."
Earlier on Tuesday, the House unanimously passed a bill to resume paying survivor benefits. But, it remains unclear if the Senate will take up the measure.