Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of October 9, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Congressman Randy Neugebauer
Congressman Randy Neugebauer

Steinmetz vs. Neugebauer?

Stop me if you've heard this one before. A former Lubbock County Republican Chairman is thinking about running against Congressman Randy Neugebauer. It's true at least the reports are true. This time however it's John Steinmetz who is considering a run against the Congressman. According to one report he has had numerous people tell him he should run. Right now though Steinmetz is still, at least publicly, just considering a run for Congress.

I think Steinmetz would be a good candidate and do better than Chris Winn did in the last primary. John is a good guy who I think could bring a lot to Congress. He has the right spirit and the fire to get stuff done.

That being said, is it possible to beat Neugebauer? Of course it is. The current mood of the country makes it possible for any incumbent to get beat. If you are going to beat Neugebauer there are a few things that you will need though. First and very important is money. Neugebauer will be well financed and if you want to play ball, you are going to have to line up big donors. Steinmetz has the connections, but who will they back?  Secondly, you have to run a good campaign. I like Chris Winn, but he ran a terrible campaign. Winn should have run more towards agriculture. Winn knew both the ag world and non-ag world, but instead he chose to talk about banking... and only banking. Most voters did not care about what Chris Winn cared about and it was proven at the polls. The question for Steinmetz is how will he separate himself from the Congressman? One can assume youth and a fighting attitude will be part of it, but what else? For those who want someone with an agricultural background, what will they do? Something else Steinmetz will have to answer is, why? Why dump Neugebauer? Sure, he may not be Ted Cruz or Paul Ryan but he is no Nancy Pelosi or Shelia Jackson-Lee. It can't be because he got into it with a Park Ranger is it? I predict it has very little to do with that, but you see where I am coming from.

Winn attempted to make an issue of Neugebauer's yacht and money and the people didn't care. Steinmetz will have to convince people that he can do the job better. Steinmetz is in his 30's and while some will not care about that, others will. There will be a segment that will absolutely hold his age against him, so that is something else for him to overcome.

There are many other issues at play here and Steinmetz hasn't even announced...yet. There are also rumors of one or two other possible Republican candidates. One of them I don't consider serious but could have an impact on the race.

No matter what it should be interesting.

DOD Freezes Benefits to Families of Fallen Soldiers

What a sad and pathetic story this is from FOX News. The Obama Administration should be ashamed of themselves.

It's another ugly symptom of the partial government shutdown -- and this time it impacts the families of soldiers who are dying for their country.

The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that, as long as the budget impasse lasts, it will not be able to pay death benefits to the families of troops who've been killed in combat.

"Unfortunately, as a result of the shutdown, we do not have the legal authority to make death gratuity payments at this time," said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman. "However, we are keeping a close eye on those survivors who have lost loved ones serving in the Department of Defense."

House lawmakers, though, are planning to vote Wednesday on a bill to restore funding for the payments. And Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday accused the Obama administration of needlessly withholding the money.

Boehner claimed a bill passed by Congress and signed by the president last week to pay America's troops should have given the Pentagon the latitude "to pay all kinds of bills, including this."

"I think it's disgraceful that they're withholding these benefits," Boehner said, urging Obama to sign the bill that the House will take up on Wednesday.

The bill would still have to pass the Senate before arriving on Obama's desk. If that bill fails to pass, the Pentagon says, families will be reimbursed once Congress passes an appropriations bill.

The Pentagon says it has specific instructions from its budget office not to make payments for deaths that occurred after 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2013.

Over the weekend, four soldiers -- two of them Army Rangers -- and one Marine were killed while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. The bodies of the four soldiers will be returned to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday.

Due to the impasse, the families of 25-year-old 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno; 24-year-old Pfc. Cody J. Patterson; 24-year-old Special Agent Joseph M. Peters; 25-year-old Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins; and 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Jeremiah M. Collins, Jr. will not receive the $100,000 payment that they would have otherwise received within three days of the death.

Adding further insult, the families will have to pay for their own travel to Dover. That's a bill the Pentagon also says it can't pay because of the partial shutdown.

Privately, Defense Department officials say they wish they could pay the families and they admit it's a disgrace that deserves national attention.

"If the department was allowed to make death gratuity payments at any point during shutdown, they would've been paid with great relief," one official said.

Pentagon officials also say Congress was warned prior to the shutdown that these benefits would be stopped.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said during a press conference on Tuesday he would tell those families that their government "let them down."

After the ceremony at Dover on Wednesday, the families will fly to their home states to conduct private funerals. That's also an expense the Pentagon says it can no longer pay due to the stalemate.

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