Politics

Is Obamacare a tax? Chuck Schumer says ‘Ask Mitt Romney’ [AUDIO]

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Nicholas Ballasy
Senior Video Reporter
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      Nicholas Ballasy

      Nicholas Ballasy is the Senior Video Reporter for The Daily Caller covering Congress and national politics. Ballasy has interviewed a wide range of political leaders and celebrities including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Sen. John Kerry, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Joan Rivers, Gloria Estefan, Jon Stewart, Dave Matthews, Neil Munro, Stevie Wonder, etc. His work has been featured by CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Drudge Report, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer is “very pleased” the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax but when asked if he thinks the mandate is a tax, Schumer told The Daily Caller to “ask Mitt Romney.”

TheDC asked Schumer, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, if the Democratic-controlled Congress created a new tax when it passed the health care bill in 2010. (RELATED: Harry Reid won’t say if Obamacare mandate is a tax)

“Ask Mitt Romney. Okay, let’s get to somebody else,” Schumer, who has served in the Senate since 1999, replied before taking another reporter’s question.

However, he then praised Chief Justice Roberts for siding with the left of the court to uphold the individual mandate as a tax. (RELATED: Maxine Waters ‘ha[s] not decided’ whether to call Obamacare ‘a tax’)

“I can say in my view that it certainly merited upholding under the commerce clause and you know, I think, I do worry in the future about the courts limiting the commerce clause as a way of limiting the ability of the federal government to help average families,” Schumer said.

“But overall, I’m very pleased, pleasantly surprised that Justice Roberts rose to the occasion and transcended politics.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that the “Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.”

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