Asking the Obama Administration tough questions may not be what conservatives have come to know ABC News reporters for. But lately, they’ve actually been doing a pretty good job. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney may have been relieved of Jake Tapper’s persistence, but it looks like Jon Karl is picking up where he left off.
Karl asked Carney a great question yesterday about the government shutdown and the impact it’s having on soldier benefits.
KARL: The President, the Commander-in-Chief, is the chief executive — is there nothing he can do to take care of the families?
How did Jay Carney answer? (If you guessed “by blaming the Republicans” you’re on the right track.)
CARNEY: One, the Republicans shut the government down. None of this would be an issue if the government weren’t shut down,” Carney said. “Two, the Department of Defense, as every agency did, warned Congress of the myriad of consequences of shutdown. This is one of those consequences and unfortunately it was not explicitly addressed in the Pay Our Military Act. I’m not assigning blame for that, but it wasn’t. The president learned this had not been addressed.
TheBlaze.com points out that “The Pay Our Military Act was passed by both Houses of Congress before the shutdown and signed by the president to maintain timely pay to members of the Armed Forces.”
CARNEY: …He directed the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] and his lawyers to find a solution and they are working on that and we expect one today,” Carney said. “So I don’t think there is any disagreement that this is a matter that needs to be resolved, that it’s unthinkable that these benefits would not be available. And therefore, he’s doing the right thing as Commander in Chief and making sure its resolved.
Watch the exchange below:
Carney also became testy with Ed Henry of Fox News during the press conference, because he continued to press the issue by challenging when the President first became aware of the veterans issues due to the government shutdown.
TheBlaze reports that, “after first dodging, Carney said, ‘I don’t know specifically. I can tell you when he learned these benefits were not explicitly dealt with in the Pay Our Military Act, he was very disturbed and he asked the OMB and his lawyers to take action.’”
“I want you to understand something, what the president did yesterday is unconstitutional,” Glenn said. “I got an email alert from CNN that said ‘the house just passed the appropriations bill to take care of our military and pass these death benefits to make sure that they are paid.’ Harry Reid then comes out and the Senate decides not to pick it up. 41 minutes later, the President announces that he’s gone to a private group to have a private group pay those death benefits and then told the private group, and thank you very much, we really appreciate it. It’s the Fisher House.”
“The President of the United States constitutionally cannot take on debt,” Glenn continued. “He cannot incur debt. He can’t do that. Constitutionally, he just made Congress completely irrelevant.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP