Rep. Kevin Brady on Wednesday was chosen by House Republican leaders to be the next chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, where he will oversee tax laws and large entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.
The Texas Republican is expected to be formally elected to this post by the full House Republican conference today. The rare-mid-session race for one of the most prestigious gavels in Congress kicked off in recent weeks when it became clear that then-Chairman Paul Ryan would succeed Rep. John Boehner as speaker of the House.
Brady's nomination is also the latest victory for the small group of hard-line conservatives who helped force Boehner's ouster. The race to replace Ryan as chairman came down to Brady, a southern conservative with a strong background in health care policy, and Rep. Pat Tiberi a business-friendly Boehner ally with a history of working with Democrats.
Ways and Means oversees some of the most important issues on the Republican agenda — including tax policy, trade, Social Security and Medicare — making its chairmanship one of the most coveted positions in Congress.
Following his meeting the Steering Committee, a panel of lawmakers led by the speaker that nominates committee chairs, Brady said as chairman he would focus on rewriting the tax code, expanding trade opportunities in new markets, overhauling Social Security and Medicare and replacing the Affordable Care Act with a new "patient-centered" system.