Rep. Price named Budget vice chairman

Conservative Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) has been named vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, a post that makes him an influential deputy to the party’s budget chief, Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.).

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The spot provides a soft landing for Price after he fell short in his bid to become House Republican Conference chairman. Last month, he lost a close race to Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Finance: Trump calls for ObamaCare mandate repeal, cuts to top tax rate | Trump to visit Capitol Hill in tax reform push | CBO can't do full score before vote | Bipartisan Senate bill would ease Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Regulation: Bipartisan Senate bill would curb Dodd-Frank rules | Opioid testing rule for transport workers finalized | Google faces state antitrust probe | Dems want investigation into FCC chief Trump to visit Capitol Hill amid tax-reform push MORE (R-Wash.). Price had served in a leadership post as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee for the last two years.

“It will be a privilege to work with Chairman Paul Ryan and the fellow members of the committee during the 113th Congress to help correct the fiscal course of our nation,” Price said in a statement announcing the move. 

“We face a very serious and growing debt crisis, and the current spending habits in Washington are simply unsustainable. This requires that we do what is necessary to balance our budget and pay down our national debt while helping to encourage economic growth through common sense tax reform.”

Price, a former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, won Ryan’s support in the race for conference chair. The move to a top spot on the budget panel could position him to replace Ryan as the chairman in two years.

Ryan last month earned a rare waiver to serve a fourth term as the committee’s top Republican after serving as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate during the 2012 campaign. Ryan is widely believed to be eyeing the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2014. He is also seen as a front-runner for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016.

Earlier this month, an article in the National Review floated Price’s name as a possible challenger to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio), but Price quickly issued a statement saying he was not running for the Speakership.