White House Press Secretary Jay Carney fiercely defended the legality of a year-long delay in implementing the Obamacare employer mandate in a Wednesday press briefing.
When a reporter noted that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, had called the legality of the delay into question in a New York Times article, Carney argued that the reporter was actually trying to bring the conversation around a greater Republican effort to undermine Obamacare.
“This was the law. How can they change the law?” Harkin had asked, as quoted by the New York Times.
Carney said those who view such a delay is unusual are “willfully ignorant.”
“The ability to postpone the deadline is clear,” Carney added, suggesting that reporters check the federal register to see that the delay is “not an unusual process.”
Update: This post has been updated to clarify that Carney said generally that those who believe a delay is unusual are “willfully ignorant.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.