Republicans accused the Pentagon on Thursday of willfully misinterpreting a military pay law meant to ensure families of fallen soldiers get death benefits.

They said legislation they passed in the hours before the shutdown allows the Pentagon to pay out the $100,000 death gratuity payment. 

By not making the payments, the administration is trying to make the shutdown more painful to people, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said Thursday. 

“The political objective was to inflict as much harm as you possibly could in your own department," Coffman said at a House Armed Services hearing on the measure Thursday. “The Department of Defense took it upon itself to disregard the will of American people and violate the law.”