President Obama opposed passage of funding for veterans' death benefits because the Fisher House Foundation has agreed to cover the costs, according to his spokesman.
"The legislation is not necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday when asked about legislation approved by the House and Senate that would pay for those benefits. "Our view has been, this piecemeal funding is, again, a gimmick."
Carney faulted Congress on Wednesday for not covering the death benefits in the Pay Our Military Act, though the Congressional Research Service rendered a legal opinion that the legislation did fund the program.
"[Obama] was not pleased to learn of this problem," Carney said during the Wednesday briefing. "And he has directed the OMB and his lawyers to find a solution. And he expects to have one today."
But the president opposes the legislative fix. "We don't need legislation," Carney said Thursday. "The president directed that this be resolved and it has been. What is preposterous is this notion that we should, piecemeal, fix all the consequences caused by shutdown."
The Defense Department, under the current agreement, will reimburse the Fisher House after the government shutdown ends.