by Cristina Marcos
Freshman Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., on Friday introduced a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to clearly label new taxes in light of the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the health care overhaul.
The 5-4 Supreme Court decision, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, reasoned that the individual mandate was constitutional because the fine for lacking insurance fell under congressional authority to levy taxes. That's not how the law was originally sold.
Quayle argued his amendment would improve transparency when Congress passes legislation that introduces higher taxes.
"The American people deserve to know the full implications and consequences of legislation passed by Congress. Yesterday's Supreme Court decision illustrated plainly the dangers of deceptive labeling by our leaders," Quayle said.
Democrats denied during the bill's passage that the mandate penalty amounted to a tax. And during a press conference Thursday after the Supreme Court announced its decision, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed the tax framing as "Washington talk."
The White House continues to describe the fine as a "penalty."