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Still, the fact that House Republicans are pushing the bill, especially in the face of much graver issues in the same vein that must be dealt with in the next few months, signals that the GOP believes it is in its best interest to strike first on budget battles.
The No Budget, No Pay Act has already set the tone for the budget debate moving forward, forcing Senate Democratic leaders to go along. The Senate passed the bill Jan. 31.
“No budget, no pay was such a huge victory for us,” one GOP aide said. “We’re going to continue to go on the offense.”
The fact that Price is the lead sponsor is also notable, considering the recent, bruising race for the GOP conference chairmanship, which he lost to leadership favorite Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.
It signals that the Georgia Republican’s role in messaging, which had been substantial, might not diminish after all.
And the bill, even if it does not pass the Senate, could be a notch in his belt should he decide to run to succeed Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who announced recently that he will retire at the end of his term.
“No one ever thought Mr. Price was anything other than a valuable member of the conference,” a GOP leadership aide said. “We’ve always worked with him. He’s been in a lot of meetings with leadership.”
On Monday, the House Rules Committee will vote on Price’s measure, and it will be on the floor Wednesday, according to Cantor’s office.
The Wednesday vote will be the last of the week, as the House breaks for the Democratic retreat in Leesburg, Va., and a conservative retreat hosted by The Heritage Foundation in Baltimore.