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The Daily Rundown
updated 1/24/2013 11:22:20 AM ET 2013-01-24T16:22:20

Rep. Tom Price is fed up with the Senate and wants them 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.

Video: Deal extends debt ceiling limit for three months

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    >>> this bill is a political gimmick. this bill was cooked up a few miles from here, when, frankly, the majority party said, we're in trouble, the people don't like us, things aren't going well, how do we fix it? well, they came up with this gimmick.

    >> well, that was thousands democratic whip, steny hoyer , hitting republicans on the no budget , no pay deal passed wednesday. after a bruising election, a tough fight on the fiscal cliff, and with even more fiscal deadlines looming, can republicans regroup? joining me now, republican tom price , vice chair of the budget committee and on the front lines of this battle. congressman price, apologies for my voice. i'll try to keep my questions short.

    >> nice hearing your voice today, chuck, so good health to you.

    >> thank you, sir. is this a retreat? on one hand, it's a tactical -- looks like a tactical retreat . you guys had set a precedent, you thought, that any time you raised the debt ceiling, it would be $1 for spending cuts for every dollar in debt ceiling raised. that is not what you got this time. and you have put the focus on senate democrats , a political tactic, perhaps a very successful one. but is that really a tactical retreat ?

    >> i don't think so at all, chuck. and i was curious to hear steny's comments about this being a gimmick. 86 democrats supported the bill that we had on the floor yesterday, the no budget , no pay, so clearly they didn't think it was a gimmick. this was a bipartisan effort. look, if you look at the goal, we've got to get our fiscal house in order, we've got to balance the budget , and 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. so what we did, in this bill, is to say to the senate , look, you've got to do a budget . families do budgets, businesses do budgets, employers do budgets. 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 solutions , the real solutions that we put on the table, and i believe the solutions that the democrats put on the table in the democrat-controlled senate , that the american people won't want. and that's the importance about this, so that we move forward in the new debt ceiling discussion, come may, and put in place real solutions .

    >> well, in a perfect world , the way congress works, then is, you guys have your budget , the senate has yours. there's a conference committee , and you hash it out, and you end up somewhere, maybe it's 60/40, the senate 's way, maybe it's 60/40 your way, maybe it's 50/50. are you okay with that? there's been this assumption that house republicans will not support something that isn't, say, 75 or 80% of what they want.

    >> well, what we'll support real solutions , that solve the fiscal challenges that we've got. look, we still have 7.8% unemployment. we've had four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, annually. we've added over $5 trillion to the national debt in the past four years. we can't continue down this road and expect a vibrant economy and jobs being created, which is the real issue. we've got to get america back to work. and the way that you do that is with real solutions that address the spending challenges that we have, in an honest and sincere way.

    >> let's go back to the word "compromise." are you willing to compromise? when it comes to the three levers of budgetary power here, the wlous, the senate , and the house, you only control 33% of it. are you willing to take 33% of what you want?

    >> we're the minority party in washington, there's no doubt about it. we're willing to talk about whatever it is that actually gets us to a solution. the problem that we've had with the democrat-controlled senate in the last two years is they haven't produced a budget , so 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 have to do to solve these challenges. so this is a big step forward to force the senate to do a budget .

    >> let me ask you about march and the expiration of funding for the government. are you going to be willing, then, to push that dlaeadline two months, to have it match the debt ceiling, to have both sides hammer out their budgets?

    >> no, i don't think so. i think what we need to do is to decrease spending at the level that we are right now, which is the $974 billion. that's what the spending reductions from the budget control act of august 2011 brought in place. continue on that vein until we see what the, again, the senate 's plan is. april is the statutory deadline --

    >> so we could see a budget shutdown here, if there's no solution on even just extending temporarily funding of the government?

    >> we're not interested in a shutdown. if the president wants a shutdown -- again, you noted. we're the minority party in washington. if the majority party wants a shutdown, then we'll shut down. but that's not what we want. we want responsible spending, get our fiscal house in order, get on a responsible path to create jobs, and those are real solutions we'll put on the table.

    >> let me ask about your political future. are you thinking about challenging senator saxby chambliss in 2013 ?

    >> that's all too premature at this point.

    >> you're not ruling it out.

    >> and making certain that we move forward from an economic standpoint in this country, put real solutions on the table, allow the american people to see the contrast between real solutions in the house and the senate .

    >> why aren't you immediately ruling it out?

    >> uh, why would i rule that out at this point? it's not -- it's not pertinent for the question of the day.

    >> but it's something you are open to, if you're drafted or something like that?

    >> look, i'm a physician. i spent 20 years taking care of patients. i never dreamed about going into politics. if opportunity knocks, then you have to open the door .

    >> do you think senator chambliss is conservative enough to represent the state of georgia ?

    >> i think the two senators from the state of georgia have done a very good job representing the state of georgia .

    >> all right. i will have to leave it there. congressman tom price , vice chairman of the budget committee there, part of the republican leadership when it comes to these budget battles, thanks for coming on this morning.

    >> thanks, chuck.

    >> all right.

    >>> and a programming note for you, as i teased earlier, this sunday on nbc's "meet the press," congressman paul ryan sits down exclusively with david gregory . it's his first live television interview since the november election.

    >>> up next, new nuclear threats from north korea . plus, primary pressure after new jersey senator frank lautenberg suggested potential primary challenger mayor cory booker deserves a spanking. we'll tell you who's actually got the upper hand in a new poll.

    >>> but first, today's trivia question. name the only former governor and lieutenant governor pairing to both be nominated for president. tweet me the answer @chucktoday and @dailyrundown. the first correct answer gets a follow thursday from us. the answer and more is coming up on "the daily rundown". we'll be right back.

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