Congressman Steve King (R-IA), a leading critic of ObamaCare issued the following statement today:
Leading up to today, the lower courts were split on a handful of issues," said King. "One issue they were nearly unanimous on was that the individual mandate was not a tax therefore could not be upheld under Congress’s power to tax. Today the Supreme Court disagrees with the vast majority of lower court decisions and contradicts President Obama himself, who vehemently denied that the individual mandate was a tax.
The fate of ObamaCare is not yet set. The House has voted to pass my language to repeal 100% of ObamaCare. Every Republican Senator has voted to do the same. On the other hand, President Obama and Democrats in Congress remain as committed as ever to forcing the unconstitutional law that bears the President’s name upon an unwilling and disapproving public. The choice could not be clearer. The American people should be reminded that there is no force more powerful than their voice. After the passage of ObamaCare, the American people made their disapproval known in a powerful way. Today’s decision should renew that call and spirit.
The Constitution lays out a government of limited, enumerated powers, and the size and scope of our current government, and specifically ObamaCare, are well beyond what our Founding Fathers ever intended. The American people will decide the fate of ObamaCare.
He also held a conference call with the press, you can listen to the entire thing above. Money quote: "It confers a power on Congress a power we didn’t know existed when we woke up this morning and that is the ability to coerce activity by taxation.”
He re-emphasized the need to repeal the bill and open the health care reform debate to suggestions from the American people. He said that the ability to pay for health insurance pre-tax should be address, as should the ability to purchase insurance across state lines. He said tort reform should also be addressed. When asked if there was anything within the current law that he would want to see salvaged he said there wasn’t and that “Obamacare needs to be torn out by the roots.” The silver lining of the ruling, if any, he said maybe that “they ruled the Commerce Clause isn’t so broad that it encompasses a coercion, but they ruled that the taxation clause is.” He said if we “lost the definition of the Commerce Clause it would have swallowed up the enumerated powers and the 9th and 10th Amendments.” So the bright side is that “we can still point to the enumerated powers today, when I woke up this morning I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do that.” He then emphasized his concern about the broadening of the taxation clause.
He also went on to say that he believes this will now be the number one issue for the 2012 elections, and that it puts all of the Congressional districts in Iowa in play for Republicans. He also believes that winning Iowa tips in Mitt Romney’s favor and that four out of five election scenarios given by Obama political advisor, David Axelrod, listed Iowa as a must win state.
While he thinks this will help Republicans in November he didn’t want that help to come at the expense of this ruling.