Republicans were ready to hammer the administration with a loss at the Supreme Court, but instead were forging statements vowing that the high court, in the words of House Republican Conference Vice-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), “will not have the final word” on the fate of ObamaCare.
“Today’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety. What Americans want is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country ObamaCare,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), reflecting both the congressional and campaign dimensions to come in the health care fight.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that the ruling “sets the stakes for the November election.” The Romney campaign reported receiving nearly half a million dollars in online donations in the few hours after the decision.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that the House would vote to repeal ObamaCare after returning from recess the week of July 9.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold ObamaCare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country,” Cantor said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor today that the decision puts the focus on repeal and replace.
“The Democrat health care law has made things worse; Americans want it repealed; and that’s precisely what we intend to do. Americans want us to start over. And today’s decision does nothing to change that,” McConnell said.
“The court’s ruling doesn’t mark the end of a debate. It marks a fresh start on the road to repeal. That’s been our goal from the start. That’s our goal now. And we plan to achieve it.”
The conservative Republican Study Committee preceded today’s ruling with the release of a 27-page list of more than 200 pieces of health care-related legislation that its members have introduced over the past 18 months.
“The fate of ObamaCare is not yet set,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an RSC member. “The House has voted to pass my language to repeal 100 percent 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.”
For the focus on their drive to move forward and strike at ObamaCare through other channels, Republicans didn’t hold back their emotions on the ruling itself.
“I’m shocked. I’m stunned. And I’m extremely disappointed. This is a sad day for the Constitution,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). “The government can now tax not only your income, but also tax your behavior. Where does it stop?”