Paul Ryan backs Tom Price for GOP leader

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) has secured two coveted endorsements in the race for majority leader.

Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, threw his support behind Price on Monday afternoon, giving his candidacy a major boost.

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A few hours earlier, Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) endorsed Price as he opted to forgo a leadership bid of his own.

"Tom Price is a committed conservative and a good friend. He and I have served for years together on the Budget and Ways and Means Committees, working to pay down our debt, fix our tax code, and grow our economy," Ryan said in a statement.

"Tom has a proven record of advancing conservative solutions and principles. He has the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective Majority Leader, and I'm proud to support him," the 2012 vice presidential candidate added.

Price could face three competitors for the majority leader slot: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), GOP conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Energy: Trump rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards | Controversial Keystone XL construction to proceed | Pressure mounts to close national parks amid pandemic Critics blast Trump mileage rollback, citing environment and health concerns The myth about Puerto Rican statehood that won't go away MORE (Wash.) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a former chief deputy whip. Aides say Scalise and McMorris Rodgers, who are making calls to other colleagues, are in the race.

The majority leader post is expected to open up if current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is elected Speaker after Rep. John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMeadows joins White House in crisis mode Meadows set to resign from Congress as he moves to White House The Pelosi administration MORE (R-Ohio) steps down at the end of October.

The date for leadership elections has not yet been announced. House Republicans plan to gather for a special conference meeting Tuesday at 5 p.m. to discuss their options.

Ryan’s endorsement carries weight. He is seen as one of the most influential figures in the Republican Party, in part for the fiscal blueprints he crafted as chairman of the Budget Committee.