By Justin Sink
Concerns are growing that Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) could mount a conservative challenge to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio), according to a new report in the National Review.
The story cites one leadership aide expressing concern that the Georgia lawmaker, who recently lost his bid to become conference chairman, could mount an outside bid for the Speaker's gavel.
While an actual upset is unlikely, some conservatives have voiced frustration with BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE's willingness to accept increased revenues as part of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations with President Obama.
Boehner has also faced criticism from outside groups after removing four members from committee posts last week. The lawmakers, Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashHouse Freedom Caucus member slows floor business House votes to block Gitmo transfers Republican exodus from Trump grows MORE (Mich.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertThe Hill's 12:30 Report Former GOP congressman lobbying for electric cars Senate races heating up MORE (Ariz.) and Walter Jones (N.C.), have complained that leadership is punishing conservatives who have voted against the party line. Amash has said he would consider voting against Boehner for Speaker.
Outsider challenges to leadership are rare, but not unprecedented. In 2010, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was unsuccessfully challenged by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) for Minority Leader after Democrats lost control of the House.
In an interview with the magazine, Price declined to confirm he was considering a challenge, but voiced concerns that the conservative wing of the party was not being properly recognized.
“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.”
But Price also said he has been encouraged by Boehner's negotiating tactics thus far.
“If the speaker listens to the conference and agrees to not raise taxes, he’ll be successful,” he said. “So far, I think the speaker is doing that,” he added. “But we’ve got to watch what happens.”
Price has also been rumored as a potential candidate to mount a challenge against Sen. Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.) in the 2014 GOP primary. But a PPP poll released last week shows Chambliss with a 50-22 margin in a hypothetical head-to-head showdown.
Erick Erickson, the Georgia-based conservative talk show host who also considered a bid against Chambliss, tweeted Monday in support of an outside bid by Price.
Rep. Tom Price was a great Senate leader in Georgia.He'd make a fine Speaker of the House.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) December 10, 2012