(WASHINGTON) — As news began to trickle out about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate provision of the health care law, ABC News talked with Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a staunch opponent, on the steps of the Supreme Court, amid the confusion of the packed crowd and summer heat.
King called the Supreme Court decision “a chilling thing.”
“It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach to think what happened to liberty in this country,” King said. “I’m of course very troubled. It might be a long, long, hard slog to put our Constitution back together, and the idea of limited government back together, which is under greater threat by this decision … than the Constitution itself.”
Moments later, ABC News found Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who had just left a House Democratic Whip leadership meeting, where party leaders took in the news together.
As the news broke, she described “cheers in the caucus.”
“I was so thrilled to hear that John Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority five-four decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, or as I like to call it, finally, ‘Obamacare,’ establishing in the United States of America … the law of the land that health care, affordable quality health care is a right for all Americans,” Schakowsky said beaming. “It is the right decision for the American people. That’s the important thing.”
Schakowsky also described the reaction of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as the decision became clear to the Democratic gathering.
“As a proponent of this legislation, one of the strongest that helped it pass, she was absolutely thrilled,” she said. “I’m so proud. I’m so proud of Nancy Pelosi, who was speaker of the House, guided it through the Congress, and I look forward to her being there as speaker to implement it in the next session.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tom Kludt and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News
Jeremy Diamond, CNN