Fox News' Ed Henry pressed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday as to when the President knew military families would be denied death benefits, and how the administration intends to solve this problem.
Carney reiterated that the administration would resolve the issue today, but gave no indication as to when President Obama first knew of this information.
"I haven't seen is a solution from Congress, but the president will have one today," Carney said.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
Q: Jay, when did the president learn specifically that the military death benefits would not be paid?
MR. CARNEY: Again, Ed, for the third time, I --
Q: I didn't hear that.
MR. CARNEY: Yeah, and I -- well, you -- it was asked. I just -- I can tell you that --
Q: So why -- (inaudible) --
MR. CARNEY: when he did learn -- when he did learn, he asked --
Q: (Inaudible) -- yesterday?
MR. CARNEY: Ed, I don't know specifically. I can tell you that when he learned that these benefits were not explicitly dealt with in the Pay our Military Act, he was very disturbed, and he asked for the OMB and his lawyers to take action.
Q: So why didn't he have that action taken before today, though? Because the news reports -- (inaudible) -- yesterday --
MR. CARNEY: You have to work out a process. Unless you're willing to write the check, Ed -- I mean, you know, we -- it takes some time --
Q: Well, there -- (inaudible) -- would write that check -- (inaudible) --
MR. CARNEY: -- it takes some time to -- and are you suggesting we don't, Ed?
Q: I'm saying there are people who care about it who want to get it done quickly.
MR. CARNEY: And it's getting done today.
Q: The president say he's doing -- (inaudible). Why won't you tell us what day he learned? Was it yesterday, the day before?
MR. CARNEY: Ed, what I can tell you is when the president --
MR. CARNEY: Right. And when the president found out, he was disturbed, and he asked his lawyers and the OMB to get to work on a solution, and we expect a solution today. What Congress did not do when it was informed by the Department of Defense that the DOD would be legally unable to pay these debt benefits was take action, A, to keep the government open. That did not seem to disturb the Republicans who thought it was the right thing to do to shut the government down, just as it not -- did not seem to be particularly disturbing to Republicans when they would cause all the other consequences of shutdown; they chose instead to shut the government down. Unfortunately, this was not addressed in the Pay our Military Act, which is a bill that was supported broadly by -- with bipartisan support as well as from the president and signed into law. And, you know, I mean, this is not that complicated. I know you're trying to make a partisan issue out of it, but the --
Q: (Inaudible) -- nice try.
MR. CARNEY: But Ed -
Q: But you won't tell simple fact of when the president learned. You're trying to say --
MR. CARNEY: I'm saying --
Q: -- he's outraged by it, so he wants to move quickly. If he learned last week -- (inaudible) -- the day before --
MR. CARNEY: I'm saying that when he learned about it, he asked for -- directed those who work for him to find a solution, and we expect a solution today.