Paul RyanRep. Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential hopeful, is asking his House GOP colleagues in a letter circulating Tuesday to support Georgia Rep. Tom Price as their next conference chairman.

Ryan, whose celebrity in the caucus was cemented even before joining the Republican presidential ticket earlier this year, said Price was an “instrumental” force in determining the majority’s posture on the budget, health care and tax reform.

“I have had the privilege of working with Congressman Price on a myriad of different issues over the years, and I know he is uniquely qualified for the job of Conference Chairman,” Ryan says in the Dear Colleague letter obtained by Tipsheet. “He was instrumental in drafting our House Republican budget. His vocal leadership on issues like health care, tax reform, and fiscal matters has been vital to our messaging and policy efforts.”

The endorsement puts Ryan at odds with House Republican leadership, which has been quietly whipping support for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the number-four spot.

The election of McMorris Rodgers would put the only woman in senior leadership, though some of the conference’s most conservative members, including the two previous chairman, have bristled at her ascension at the expense of conservative Price.

Ryan will also personally lobby Price’s case when House Republicans gather Wednesday in Washington.

His letter is posted in full below.

Dear Colleague –
 
Having crisscrossed the country over the last several months, I have seen firsthand the challenges we as a nation face. I have also seen the incredible spirit of the American people who are hungry for real leadership and ready to do what is necessary to put America back on a more prosperous path.
 
In the House of Representatives, we have an obligation and a real opportunity to produce and promote a positive and principled agenda for the American people. Over the past two years, we have offered bold solutions to our fiscal and economic challenges. We must not let up, but rather continue to focus our energy on doing what is necessary to empower individuals, families, and entrepreneurs.
 
Key to ensuring the success of our efforts will be having proven leaders at the helm of our policy and communication strategies. That is why I am asking you to join me in supporting Congressman Tom Price to be our next Chairman of the House Republican Conference.
 
I have had the privilege of working with Congressman Price on a myriad of different issues over the years, and I know he is uniquely qualified for the job of Conference Chairman. He was instrumental in drafting our House Republican budget. His vocal leadership on issues like health care, tax reform, and fiscal matters has been vital to our messaging and policy efforts.
 
No one will work harder than Congressman Price at building a strong and compelling communications and policy strategy that reflects the will of our membership and the needs of the nation.
 
Sincerely,
 
/s/
 
Paul Ryan
Chairman, House Committee on the Budget