Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) and Tom Price (GA) will go head-to-head Wednesday afternoon as the members hold a closed-door vote to elect the next House Republican Conference Chairman, the party’s No. 4 leadership role.
Speaker John Boehner is officially neutral but privately supporting McMorris Rodgers. Paul Ryan, the returning chairman of the Budget Committee whose profile rose enormously during his vice presidential run, is asking colleagues to back Price.
McMorris Rodgers is the highest ranked woman in the House Republican conference, and a loyal leadership ally who has earned their trust as the conference’s vice-chair. A surrogate for Mitt Romney’s presidential run, she isn’t known as a hard-line ideologue but has cultivated a conservative voting record in recent years.
Price, meanwhile, is the favorite of the GOP’s conservative wing. A former chairman of the deeply conservative Republican Study Committee, he has been backed by outgoing conference chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX), who is expected to chair the Banking Committee next year.
Those who support McMorris Rodgers say she’s in good shape to win.
Orange Julius on one side, Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver on the other. I'm hoping both sides lose, but let's keep in mind this position will be the person in charge of hashing out legislation with the Senate, and a Price win here would signal that the Tea Party is running things, Boehner's job is in serious trouble, and that there's zero chance of compromise with Senate Dems.
I'm hoping Price does get the nod. Giving away the game this early would make things a lot easier on the Democrats in the long run. We'll see who wins.
[UPDATE] And the GOP establishment wins as McMorris Rodgers gets the nod. Sorry, Tea Party. You lose again.