Good morning.day_after

The P-G's multilayered Supreme Court/ACA coverage is all here on the homepage and here's the paper's noteworthy political folo on the decision, via two quotes from political consultants:

"Everyone who voted for the health care plan voted for the largest tax increase in our planet's history," said Pittsburgh consultant John Brabender, an adviser to former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and a slate of other Republicans nationwide. In federal races, "health care repeal will be front and center this fall. The decision doesn't put a period on it; it puts on a question mark."

. . .If the court had rather overturned some or all of the health care bill, Democrats would have been the ones energized to avenge the move. "I gotta believe while the White House policy makers were elated, the political people are a little depressed," said Democratic consultant Larry Ceisler of Philadelphia.

When I see what [Chief Justice John] Roberts did [in writing the majority opinion], the cynic in me -- the Karl Rove in me -- thinks if the Supreme Court would have knocked down part of health reform, especially the mandate, that would have revved up the Obama base, which up to now has been somewhat dormant."

We know how Republicans feel about the decision. Democrats? "The cautious and measured statements from Democratic House and Senate candidates Thursday reflected the unease about renewing a debate that ended badly for the party in November 2010. The general rule, which seemed to apply to candidates in both parties, was the more competitive the race, the more tempered the response," writes the terrific Charlie Mahtesian at Politico.

You know how Mitt Romney says he'll repeal Obamacare on day 1 if he's elected president? He can't do it, writes Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker, since it'll have to be part of talks on $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to come at the end of the year:

But it’s a fantasy. The negotiations would be dead before they started if Republicans demanded repeal as a price for a Grand Bargain on taxes, spending, and entitlements. The fiscal-cliff negotiations will undoubtedly include a great deal of horse-trading that will infuriate and cheer partisans on both sides. But there is literally nothing Republicans could offer Democrats in return for repealing the Party’s greatest achievement since the Johnson Administration.

You want to know what Rick Santorum thinks about the decision? Here's a link anyway.

The state AFL-CIO today endorsed Democrats in every congressional race across the state -- except PA18, where Republican Tim Murphy is facing off against Larry Maggi and PA7 outside Philly, where Republican Pat Meehan faces George Badey. The union group didn't endorse the relatively moderate Republicans, but didn't push their challengers either.

(CORRECTION: They also didn't endorse in the 3rd District battle between GOP incumbent Mike Kelly of Beaver and Dem Missa Eaton, or in the new 4th District.)

The group's endorsements, with incumbents marked:

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane D
PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale D
PA State Treasurer Rob McCord* D

US Senate Bob Casey* D

U.S. Congress
1 Robert Brady* D
2 Chaka Fattah* D
4 Harry Perkinson D
5 Charles Dumas D
6 Manan Trivedi D
8 Kathy Boockvar D
10 Philip Scollo D
11 Gene Stilp D
12 Mark Critz* D
13 Allyson Schwartz* D
14 Mike Doyle* D
15 Rick Daugherty D
16 Aryanna Strader D
17 Matthew Cartwright D

The House just voted 254-66 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious probe. More than 100 Democrats walked out of the chamber together in protest of the vote, but two Western Pa conservative Dems were not among them. (Here's the full roll call.)

From Mark Critz:

“While I disagree with the way House Republicans have handled this entire investigation, we have an obligation to get to the bottom of this serious allegation of federal law enforcement misconduct.  At the end of the day, Congress has the responsibility to provide effective oversight of government programs and taxpayer funds, and it’s time to put this issue behind us and focus on what the American people really care about – creating jobs and strengthening our economy.”

From Jason Altmire, who references 2008 votes against Harriet Miers and John Bolton (triggering a GOP walkout):

"Today, as in 2008, the House of Representatives voted to hold a senior Executive Branch official in contempt of Congress for failure to turn over documents requested by the House as part of an official investigation. I supported today's resolution, just as I did in 2008, because Congress has the constitutional authority to oversee and investigate the Executive Branch of our government. I believe it would be inconsistent for me to vote against today's resolution simply because the political tables are now turned. I continue to believe that Congress has investigative authority and it is clear that the administration did not provide the requested documents. As a member of the House, this left me no other alternative than to vote for the contempt resolution. Our government is based on a system of checks and balances, and regardless of who is in the White House, I believe in the right of Congress to conduct unimpeded investigations on serious issues that arise."

Interesting differences in the Affordable Care Act statements from Gov. Tom Corbett released separately by the Romney campaign and the governor's office; guv's version doesn't mention "$2 trillion" or Romney, but does advocate "change in Washington."

Romney version first:

"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold President Obama's healthcare law is disappointing. If implemented, we will be saddled with a nearly $2 trillion entitlement. The Supreme Court's decision sets the stakes for the November election. Now the only way to save the country from this massive government takeover of healthcare is to elect a new President and lawmakers in Washington, D.C. We need a leader who understands that free markets and competition lead to better quality, greater access and lower costs for our healthcare. We need a leader who understands that real healthcare reform shouldn't be a burden to taxpayers or come at the cost of American jobs. That leader is Mitt Romney."

Corbett admin version:

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today said he was disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the federal healthcare law, known as Obamacare, but said he will work hard to limit the law's negative impact on Pennsylvanians.

Corbett, when he was attorney general, joined a dozen other states in challenging the federal healthcare reform law. When he became governor, Corbett continued that court challenge, along with 26 other states.

"It appears that the Supreme Court agreed with the lawsuit brought by myself and 12 other Attorneys General finding Obamacare unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, however they did uphold the law under Congress' taxing authority,'' Corbett said.

"Despite the President's repeated assertions that this was not a tax, the Supreme Court today ruled that it is in fact a tax,'' Corbett said. "Not only is it a tax, but it may turn out to be one of the largest tax increases in the history of our nation. It is a tax on our citizens that they cannot afford. It is a tax that hits our small businesses the hardest and will kill job growth.

"This law will raise healthcare costs for our families, our employers and our state,'' Corbett said. "This is a burden to all of us who work every day to recover from the recession.

"While I am disappointed with this ruling, respect for the law and for the process of the law -- even when we disagree -- is part of our democracy. My administration will do all we can to ensure the negative impact of this law affects the lives of Pennsylvanians as little as possible,'' Corbett said.

The law requires individuals who are not covered by an employer or government insurance plan to maintain minimal health insurance coverage. It also increases national medical spending and expands Medicaid to unsustainable levels.

"I think we can all agree there are Pennsylvanians who need our help. However, expanding government bureaucracy, government programs and government spending is not the answer. As governor I will work to ensure Pennsylvanians have access to affordable and quality healthcare,'' Corbett said.

"That is why now more than ever we need change in Washington,'' Corbett said. "We need to elect lawmakers who will put the needs of our families first, leaders that respect our freedoms, respect free enterprise and respect competition.''

US Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless:

"I agree with today's ruling. Although I voted against the 2010 health care reform bill, I never believed, nor did I ever argue, that it would be found unconstitutional. I voted against the bill because my constituents were overwhelmingly against it, and because I believed that bill was flawed policy. Now, two years later, I still believe that the law does not adequately strike the balance between expanding coverage, improving quality, and lowering costs. Now that the Court has ruled, it is my hope that we can once and for all put the acrimonious political debate behind us and do what we should have been doing all along -- working together in a bipartisan fashion to improve upon the law and bring down health care cost for American families, businesses, and the government."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus:

"Today's Supreme Court decision sets the stakes for the November election. Now, the only way to save the country from ObamaCare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a new president," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

"Under President Obama's signature legislation, health care costs continue to skyrocket, and up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. A panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to come between elderly patients and their doctors. Meanwhile, the rules and regulations placed on job creators and small businesses make it nearly impossible to hire new workers at a time when Americans desperately need jobs.

"We need market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less. The answer to rising health care costs is not, and will never be, Big Government.

"We must elect a president who understands the economy, respects free enterprise, and can provide the leadership we now so desperately need. On Election Day, we must elect Mitt Romney and put America on the path toward a brighter economic future and successful health care reform."

US Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair:

“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of President Obama's new healthcare tax, Congress must get to work on fully repealing this bill and undoing the new tax before it goes into full effect. The bill that was rushed through Congress and signed into law was unpopular, unworkable and unsustainable. It was not designed to deliver the kind of healthcare reforms Americans want and need. Simply put, a healthcare tax is not healthcare reform.

“Beyond repeal of the new healthcare tax, Congress must deliberate on what is truly needed — and is constitutionally sound — to fix our healthcare system rather than just raising taxes to finance it. The American people are demanding a system that delivers the care you need, at a price a price you can afford, from a doctor you choose — without new taxes or a government takeover.”

PA-12 Republican congressional candidate Keith Rothfus:

"I am thoroughly disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to uphold this unconstitutional and unprecedented power grab by the Obama Administration, a power grab that Congressman Mark Critz has supported 20 times with votes to protect the bill. While the Supreme Court's decision that the mandate penalty is a tax is disappointing, it is especially disappointing that Congressman Critz supported this massive tax increase on the American people.

In addition to degrading the Constitution, President Obama's health care policy raids $500 billion from Medicare to pay for a new entitlement while subjecting seniors' access to care to an unelected board of bureaucrats – a provision Congressman Critz explicitly voted to keep in place and one that puts our seniors' health care at risk. Congressman Critz had chance after chance to stand with the citizens of PA-12, but has instead failed us and failed our seniors in standing with President Obama.

Despite today's ruling, our fight is not yet over. We will do everything in our power to ensure that Congress overturns ObamaCare in its entirety, replacing it with common-sense reforms that help the economy, create jobs, and make worthwhile improvements to our health care system. Fortunately the hardworking men and women of PA-12 will have an option this November to elect someone who will fight against this unprecedented power grab, will fight to save Medicare, will fight to take control of our debt, and will fight to bring jobs back to Southwestern PA ."

Former presidential candidate and US Sen Rick Santorum:

"Today's outcome is the worst of all scenarios. Not only are our rights being taken away and Americans are being forced to do something we don't want to do, but now we are being burdened with the biggest permanent tax increase in our nation's history. This is a sad day.

"I believe so strongly that if we do not defeat President Obama this November and elect more conservatives in the House and Senate, our country's future prosperity is at risk. We saw the absolute disregard President Obama showed for the Supreme Court's ruling on the Arizona immigration law, that I have no doubt that he sees today's ruling in his favor as a mandate that he can now do whatever he chooses by any means possible.

"President Obama believes he is above the law, entitled to abusing his power to get what he wants, and willing to violate the constitution and the oath he was sworn to uphold. He has proven to be a very dangerous person to have this kind of power, and if he is not stopped this November, I am fearful that the make-up of this country as established by our founders will never be the same."

US Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown (PA-12):

"I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision on the individual mandate, which is why I voted to repeal it – and it is still my opinion that Congress should act swiftly to repeal the tax on medical devices, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board – an unelected board of bureaucrats who could cut benefits for seniors on Medicare.

"I opposed the healthcare bill when it passed, but it would be wrong and irresponsible for Congress to go backwards and allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, to kick young adults off their parents' health insurance plans, or to re-open the 'doughnut hole' which will force seniors to pay more for medicine.

"The Supreme Court has given us guidance, and it is our responsibility to work together in a bipartisan fashion going forward."

Pennsylvania GOP chair Robert Gleason:

"While we are extremely disappointed in today's ruling, the Supreme Court decision sets the stakes for the November election. The only way to save the country from ObamaCare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a new President," Chairman Gleason said.

"Under ObamaCare, President Obama's signature legislation, health care costs continue to skyrocket, and up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. Meanwhile, a panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to come between elderly patients and their doctors. ObamaCare is simply wrong for America and wrong for Pennsylvania. We need market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less. The answer to rising health care costs is not, and will never be, Big Government.

"I applaud Governor Tom Corbett for his tireless efforts to fight against the federal government's massive takeover of our healthcare system in Pennsylvania. The fight now turns to the White House. We must elect a president who understands the economy, respects free enterprise, and can provide the leadership we now so desperately need. On Election Day, we must elect Mitt Romney and put America on the path toward a brighter economic future and successful health care reform."

Republican US Senate candidate Tom Smith, R-Armstrong:

"Today's unfortunate decision strengthens our resolve to defeat Senator Casey and President Obama in order to repeal and replace a disastrous law that has ballooned the debt, increased the cost of insurance and eroded freedoms," said Smith. "Healthcare decisions should be made by doctors, patients and their families, not by government bureaucrats. In the Senate, I will fight to see ObamaCare repealed and replaced with commonsense free market reforms that reduce cost, increase access, and promote the quality and innovation that has made our healthcare system the envy of the world."

"Sadly, as Pennsylvania families have suffered from stagnant unemployment and future generations have continued to be buried under record debt, Senator Casey and Barack Obama have prioritized defending a failed government takeover of healthcare. Americans deserve elected leaders who place the needs of their constituents over their own political agendas," Smith added.

US Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler:

"Today, the United States Supreme Court spoke. On November 6, the American people will have their chance to speak.

"President Obama's tax and spend policies are driving our nation into historically high debt, historically high unemployment, and now an historic government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Despite the president's repeated assurances to the American people that his signature health care law would not be a tax, it survived a U.S. Supreme Court challenge because it was interpreted as such. The American people were woefully misled by this president, and I share the outrage of the majority of Americans who want this law repealed.

"When I came into office, one of my first votes was to repeal the president's health care law because I believe Americans should have the freedom to make their own health care decisions. The president's health care law takes away that freedom, forcing millions of Americans onto government-provided, European-style health care.

"The health care law raids $500 billion from Medicare, institutes a rationing panel that will deny seniors critical health care coverage, destroys millions of jobs, and threatens to take away our constitutionally-protected religious freedoms.

"As disappointed as I am in today's ruling, I am confident that the American people, who want this law repealed, will continue to voice their opposition.

"When President Obama ran for office in 2008, he said he would work to "fundamentally transform" the United States of America. Today's decision puts him well on his way to doing so, unless he's stopped this November."

US Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa:

“I am extremely disappointed. Today’s decision is a jarring blow to our 200-year-old tradition of constitutionally limited government and personal liberty,” Sen. Toomey said.

“The Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t change the fact that President Obama’s health care law is a terrible policy that will impose new taxes, increase the cost of health care and cost our country jobs. It is now up to Congress to repeal Obamacare and enact common-sense reforms that will expand access to affordable, quality health care.”

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