CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett
Washington (CNN) –
The Senate unexpectedly approved House-passed legislation on Thursday to restore military death benefits that were cut due to the government shutdown.
The move came at the insistence of Republican senators who said they wanted a legislative fix to fund the benefits despite a plan finalized by the Obama administration Wednesday to have a private charity–Fisher House–cover the cost of the benefits until the government shutdown is resolved.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the push by Republicans was "unnecessary" because benefits were now flowing, but he said he would not block a unanimous consent agreement proposed by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican.