Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is poised to become the new chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, after defeating Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, in a closed-door meeting.
Brady will succeed Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who gave up the chairmanship to ascend to speaker of the House after being drafted by Republican colleagues.
Ryan gave Brady a critical boost Wednesday night inside the House Steering Committee meeting.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., told reporters that Ryan “said from his experience being the chairman, that he felt Kevin was the guy.”
Westmoreland, a member of the Steering Committee, said he was “sure that carried a lot of weight.”
In the contest for the Ways and Means gavel, Brady followed Ryan’s lead, citing the need for a chairman to advance the new speaker’s agenda.
“I just laid that case out,” Brady, 60, said of the Wednesday night gathering in which he bested Tibiri, 53.
The new chairman will be plenty busy in coming months, as battles in Congress continue to brew over tax reform, highway funding, and government spending.
“We’re here to do big things. And under Speaker Ryan we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do big things together,” Brady told reporters.
A key difference between Brady and Tiberi, as The Daily Signal reported Wednesday, was a procedural vote on how to go about deciding whether to revive the Export-Import Bank. Both support the bank, but Brady opposed the motion as outside regular order.
Today, Brady is slated to come before the entire Republican caucus, which is expected to confirm his nomination to the Ways and Means chairmanship.
Brady, first elected to Congress in 1996, represents the Houston area that makes up the 8th Congressional District in Texas. His numerous posts have included chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.
This is likely the last leadership contest to be decided under current Steering Committee rules. House leadership has promised to reform how the committee does business by Thanksgiving.