House and Senate last month approved a $174,000 tax-free gift to Lautenberg's widow. Yet the families of US troops KIA can't receive the death benefit

Somewhat surprising that others haven’t noted the vast disconnect here. No wonder Congress is now viewed as  the 2nd lowest life-form on earth.

Last month, both the House and Senate voted a $174,000 tax-free gift to the widow of Sen. Lautenberg. This is a time-honored perk for the families of members of Congress who die while in office, equal to their annual salary.

Lautenberg was worth upwards of $50 million when he died.

No one has as yet seen fit to ask the family why they accepted it, or why didn’t they donate the funds to charity.

This should not have gone through, not because of resentment against the rich, but rather because it’s another sign of how Congress, both parties, sets itself up as different, nay better, than the rest of us. From parking spaces at Reagan, to the House bank, to the barber shop, the list is endless.

And now we learn that the DoD can’t pay the death benefit to the families of US servicemen who lost their lives defending our freedoms; let alone fly their families to Dover to meet the remains.

Republicans should be beating Obama like a rented mule over this shameless manipulation of the shutdown, contrasting it to the payment to Lautenberg’s family, but they can’t. Their hands are as dirty, as complicit.

Which is just another clear sign that we need to change the leadership.