Price told the MDJ on Friday he plans to seek re-election to the position he holds, representing Georgia’s 6th District in the U.S. House.
He also weighed in on the Syrian conflict, the gun debate and the Internet tax bill the U.S. Senate has approved.
“I’ve been remarkably encouraged and inspired by folks all across the district and the state to have us run for higher office, however, our assessment at this point is the House is the battleground for politics in this country right now,” Price said. “The president has identified it as the place where he wants to wage that battle, and he believes that taking the House is what will allow him to have an unfettered run at his agenda, and we’ve got to stop that.”
Price said his role as vice chairman of the budget committee in the House puts him in a unique position to be able to wage that battle as well as put forward positive, conservative solutions.
“The financial support and encouragement that we’ve gotten around the state has been incredibly humbling, and I think we would have been able to wage a very competitive and successful race, but our assessment right now is that the House is where the battle is, and that’s where we’ll be offering for reelection in 2014,” he said.
Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, believes Price made the right move.
“My perspective is that although I think he would be a strong candidate for Saxby’s seat, he’s doing exactly the right thing by staying put for his own career and for what he can do for the party, because he is well positioned in the leadership ranks in the House GOP, and he could climb the ladder much more quickly in the House than he could in the Senate,” Swint said.
Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy has said whenever there is an open seat at the top, it causes a leadership loss because of the domino effect of everyone trying to run for the higher position.
“Very often the case when you have an open seat is that you have a scramble, and not all of them can win, and so that means there is going to be vacancies and in this case in the U.S. House delegation,” Swint said.
One topic coming before Price for a vote is the Marketplace Fairness Act, which the Senate has already approved. Voting for that bill was both Georgia’s U.S. senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. The bill would require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes on Internet sales. Consumer advocate Clark Howard has warned that it could put small retailers who do less than $5 million a year in Internet sales out of business — because they would he hard-pressed to keep up with all of the different sales tax rates in the 50 states and hundreds of counties.
“I haven’t taken a position on it because I think there are some real unintended consequences of moving wholesale to an Internet tax system without recognizing the kinds of things that Clark Howard is pointing out,” Price said. “I also believe that fundamental tax reform, comprehensive tax reform, is absolutely vital if we’re going to get this economy rolling again, and potentially addressing the issue of Internet taxation as part of a comprehensive solution may be appropriate, doing it in isolation I’m not convinced is appropriate at this time.”
Price believes the debate over gun reform legislation is over.
“I think it’s probably over because what most people recognize is if the administration would enforce the current laws on the books we’d be a whole lot safer,” he said. “The last thing we need to do is pass another law that the administration won’t enforce.”
Obama leading from behind on Syria
Price also spoke of the civil war in Syria and President Obama’s red line for deciding when the U.S. should take action.
“I think if you step back and take a look at why we’re in the situation we’re in, and why the Middle East is in the situation it’s in, I believe it’s because the president has been leading from behind,” Price said. “Leading from behind doesn’t get you anything but being behind, and so consequently we have a much more dangerous Middle East than should be, we have a much more challenging situation than should exist and the president has put out his red line which is the use of chemical weapons.”
That line has clearly been crossed, Price said.
“And the president is again less than in a stellar position or in a powerful position to lead because he has not responded and not lived up to his word on this red line,” Price said.
At some point the U.S. must work with its friends in the area, such as Jordan, Turkey and Israel, doing all it can to ensure that chemical weapons are not used on the Syrian population or anywhere else.
At the moment, Price believes having American “boots on the ground” is not the way to go.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate because of the information I receive from our military folks is that is just not the most viable way to proceed,” Price said. “That being said, we cannot stand idly by and allow (Syrian President Bashar) Assad to continue to expand his reign of terror over his own population.”