GOP Congressman Breaks Party Ranks To Oppose Potential Senate Race Rival’s Bill

Rep. Paul Broun takes on a fellow Georgia Republican’s bill. Preview of the Senate special election?

Gregory Smith / AP

WASHINGTON — When the House passed a largely symbolic bill Wednesday to require President Barack Obama to map out how to eliminate the federal budget deficit, nearly the entire Republican majority voted in favor.

Except one.

House Republican leaders had been touting the bill as a way to hold the president accountable for his fiscal decisions — but Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican for Georgia, wasn’t convinced, opposing the “Require a PLAN Act” because he “thinks it’s unconstitutional” for the president to have any role in crafting a budget, his office said.

“He voted against it because he does not believe that the president should have any place in the budgetary process at all,” Broun’s spokesperson Meredith Griffanti explained. She added, “Rep. (Tom) Price’s bill kind of doubles down on that.”

On Wednesday, Broun also became the first Republican to file to run for the Georgia Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Price, a fellow Georgian, is rumored to be considering chasing the Senate as well.

But Broun’s office insisted he didn’t see this vote as an opportunity to carve a niche apart from Price.

“No, that has nothing to do with it,” Griffanti said. “It’s more just a principle thing.”

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