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Rep. Price: House could approve 'cliff' bill with tax increase

A conservative House Republican suggested Monday that Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) job isn't in jeopardy even though the House may need to pass year-end legislation that hikes rates on some wealthy taxpayers. 

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Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), a member of the Budget Committee, said the lower chamber could pass a bill that would raise taxes on those making between $400,000 and $500,000 a year, but that Boehner would retain his party's helm. 

"I think the Speaker's commitment is to bring up whatever the Senate can pass," he said in an interview on CNBC. 

Price said he won't vote for any bill that raises taxes but that others might.

"I think there's a bipartisan group that would potentially address that in a positive way," he said.

With time ticking down for Congress to act, "my suspicion is that it would pass, whether is passes with my support or conservative support is not the issue," he added. 

Price pushed aside the notion that Boehner's chances of returning as Speaker would be hurt if the House votes to allow some tax increases.

"That happens on Jan. 3, and I don't see that it's being threatened," he said. 

Shortly before the Christmas holiday, House conservatives killed their leadership's attempt to pass a 'Plan B' measure that would have increased taxes on those making at least $1 million a year. 

That failure to garner enough votes increased speculation that Boehner may struggle to hold on to his Speakership. 

"I think that raising taxes on anyone at this point is terrible idea," Price said. 

"This economy is in the doldrums, and we don't have a taxing problem. We have a spending problem."

He questioned whether the president will push Senate Democrats to move forward with a bill on New Year's Eve. 

"If that happens, then I think we can solve this current challenge," he said. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden have been in talks about a solution, but there is no deal yet. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has proposed raising the threshold for extending current tax rates on individual income to $360,000 and on family income to $450,000. Republicans countered with a plan to raise the threshold for individuals to $450,000 and families to $550,000.  

President Obama, in negotiations with Boehner, raised his threshold from $250,000 to $400,000. 

Several Senate Republicans on Sunday said they could agree to the $400,000 option.