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Republican congressman challenges Senate to pass a budget


Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., told NBC’s Chuck Todd on The Daily Rundown, “the problem that we’ve had with the Democrat-controlled Senate the last two years is that they haven’t produced a budget.”

Price defended the, “no budget, no pay,” measure that Republicans passed in the House, in a vote that split 284-144, in response to Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s claims that the bill was a “political gimmick.”

“Clearly, this was a bipartisan effort,” Price said on Thursday. “If you look at the goal—we’ve got to get our fiscal house in order and we’ve got to balance the budget. In order to do that, the Senate actually has to produce a budget—which they haven’t done in nearly four years. The House has had budgets for each of the last two years that actually get to balance.”

The Republican congressman expressed his unhappiness with the Senate’s failure to pass a budget.

“Families do budgets, businesses do budgets, employers do budgets,” Price said. “The Senate has not done a budget in nearly four years. So this is the challenge for them to do a budget so that the American people can compare the real solutions that we put on the table and I believe the solutions that the Democrats put on the table in the Democratic controlled Senate that the American people won’t want.”

Price stressed that without a budget, debt ceiling talks in May will stall again and a real solution won’t happen. He noted that job creation and a vibrant economy, should be what both houses of Congress want but that neither is achievable until the Senate approves a budget.

He recognizes that the GOP is the “minority party in Washington,” but was quick to mention that the Republicans are willing to take the steps needed to find a solution, if the Democrats are going to meet them halfway.

“There’s no way to even talk about a compromise as you’re working with the Senate because they don’t even say what they believe, what they think we ought to do to solve these challenges,” Price said.

Price also said that the Republican Party doesn’t want a government shutdown in March, when the expiration for government funding expires. However, because they are the minority party, if the government does shutdown, he made it clear the blame shouldn’t be placed on the GOP.

“If the majority party wants a shutdown then the government will shut down,” Price said. “But that’s not what we want. What we want is responsible spending, get our fiscal house in order, get us on a path to balance, get this economy rolling again to create jobs.”

Looking ahead to 2014, Todd asked Price whether he would run against Sen. Saxby Chambliss, challenging him for his seat in the upcoming election. Price played coy, saying it wasn’t the time to talk about those concerns.