In his New York Times story on the latest Obamacare delay, Robert Pear quotes Treasury official Mark Iwry asserting Treasury’s “authority to grant transition relief” under a section of the Internal Revenue Code that directs the Treasury secretary to “prescribe all needful rules and regulations for the enforcement” of tax obligations. The quoted section of the Code seems to me to belie what the Obama administration has done.
What was Iwry talking about? In the NRO column “Delaying Obamacare to death,” John Daniel Davidson parses the precedents previously cited by Treasury official Mark Mazur in the text of a 2013 letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton. Davidson’s analysis shows Iwry’s assertion and Mazur’s precedents to be wanting. In justifying the Obamacare delays, it seems to me that Iwry and Mazur serve as administration propagandists rather than as Treasury officer responsible for enforcing the law.
UPDATE: It is true, as the commenter below notes, Davidson doesn’t address the precedents appended by Mazur in footnote 2. Didn’t Mazur cite his best cases in the text of his letter? That’s usually how it works. I have corrected my comments above to note that Iwry rather than Mazur is the official quoted by Pear in his article earlier this week.