U.S. Rep. Tom Price's name was been wagging tongues all day Monday in Washington and at home in metro Atlanta.
The Roswell Republican, who represents Northeast Cobb in Georgia's Sixth District, was the subject of an article in the conservative magazine National Review. In "Boehner's Biggest Threat," writer Robert Costa indicated that Price may challenge Speaker John Boehner if a federal budget deal falls through.
But Price said through a spokesman later Monday that he won't be challenging Boehner as the so-called "fiscal cliff" over the federal budget looms.
A aide to House leadership is quoted in the National Review article as saying that “Price is the person we’re all watching. We know he’s frustrated, but we don’t know much else.”
The fifth-highest ranking Republican in the House GOP majority, Price has been especially vocal that Republicans not give in to President Barack Obama's demands that taxes be raised for the wealthiest Americans.
Price, who told Costa "the House is rough and tumble, and I love it," has met with noted conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
Substantial spending cuts and tax increases would commence in January if Congress cannot come to terms on a budget package. Boehner, who met privately with Obama at the White House over the weekend, is said to enjoy strong support among enough House Republicans to withstand a challenge.
Georgia-based conservative pundit Erick Erickson, who's been among those grousing about Boehner, Tweeted Monday afternoon that "Rep. Tom Price was a great Senate leader in Georgia. He'd make a fine Speaker of the House."
Price also was mentioned high in an article in New York magazine about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising star in the GOP, and "a conservative reaction against the Republican leadership that has sold them out."
Liberal AJC columnist Jay Bookman wrote of a Price Speakership: "Heaven help us." A Price victory, he said, "would be almost suicidal for the Republicans. Throwing Boehner overboard would cement the party’s reputation as radical and uncompromising."
Bookman concluded that Price is more likely aiming for a possible candidacy in 2014 against U.S. Sen Saxby Chambliss, who has coolled to Norquist's anti-tax pledge.