Rep. Price won't challenge Boehner

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) ruled out a challenge to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) on Monday, halting speculation that the Georgia lawmaker could be gathering support for a bid for the Speaker’s gavel.

“Congressman Price is not running for Speaker,” Price spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael said in a statement. “He is focused on real solutions to get America back on track. Those solutions reside in fundamental principles that embrace individual opportunity and economic freedom.”

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The statement from Price’s office followed a story in National Review suggesting House GOP leaders were concerned Price could be mounting a conservative challenge to BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE. Price lost a bid earlier this year to become conference chairman to Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Overnight Finance: GOP celebrates as final tax vote nears | Senate expected to pass bill tonight | Why the House needs to vote again | Panel rejects Trump pick to head Ex-Im | All major banks pass Fed 'living will' test Trump congratulates House GOP on passing tax bill MORE (R-Wash.), an ally of Boehner's.

“Price is the person we’re all watching,” one aide told the magazine. “We know he’s frustrated, but we don’t know much else.”

In the National Review story, Price refused to speculate on his future but suggested a wariness with Boehner.

“My concern is that within our conference, conservatives, who are a majority, don’t have a proper platform,” he said. “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.”

While unseating Boehner would be unlikely, some conservatives have voiced frustration with the Speaker’s willingness to accept higher tax 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 AmashOvernight Defense: House votes to renew surveillance program | More drones, troops headed to Afghanistan | Former officers urge lawmakers to curb Trump's nuclear powers Overnight Tech: House votes to reauthorize surveillance powers | Twitter on defensive after Project Veritas video | Senate panel to hold hearing on bitcoin Overnight Cybersecurity: House votes to renew NSA spying | Trump tweets spark confusion | Signs Russian hackers are targeting Olympics | Bannon expected to appear before House Intel panel MORE (Mich.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertFive obstacles to Trump's infrastructure ambitions The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill GOP Senate hopeful Kelli Ward leads challengers in internal poll 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.


Price has also been rumored as a potential candidate to mount a challenge against Sen. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party 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.