Celia Bigelow (@CeliaBigelow) December 10, 2012
National Review’s Robert Costa reports that Georgia Rep. Tom Price, a steadfast conservative, is mulling a challenge to John Boehner for House Speaker. Price is rightly disappointed with Boehner’s recent purge of fiscal conservatives from finance-related House committees:
In an interview with National Review Online, Price won’t speculate about his future, but he acknowledges his growing uneasiness. “My concern is that within our conference, conservatives, who are a majority, don’t have a proper platform,” he says. “That’s true at the leadership table and on the steering committee.”
As he plots his next step, Price, a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is conferring with backbenchers about their grievances. Some of them are angry with Boehner, following a decision by House leaders last week to remove four conservatives from their committees. Boehner said the move was not an ideological rebuke, but it caused trouble nonetheless.
“Tom has spoken with me about his concerns,” says a veteran House Republican. “He says he doesn’t want conservatives to get burned.” A second House Republican, who was elected in 2010, says Price is slowly building an informal coalition and chatting frequently with a tight circle of conservative members. In recent days, Price has also huddled with Grover Norquist, the anti-tax activist, at Norquist’s office.
Could Price pose a serious challenge to establishment darling Boehner? Many conservatives think so and are encouraging him to run for Speaker:
At the very least, conservatives hope Price will be one of at least 16 Republicans to vote against Boehner in January.
Price may also be considering a run against Sen. Saxby Chambliss in 2014.
Whether Price chooses to run against Boehner or opts for a Senate run, one thing’s for sure: his solid conservative voice is the kind we desperately need in our government.
Price spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael says the congressman has no intention of running against Boehner: