House Republicans pick Ways and Means veteran Brady to head panel

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2015 10:53 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Republicans approved Representative Kevin Brady of Texas on Thursday as chairman of the powerful, tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, succeeding Paul Ryan, who took over the House speakership last week.

In a closed-door meeting of all House Republicans, Brady was approved by acclamation, Representative Barry Loudermilk told reporters. Brady was recommended by the House Republican Steering Committee, which chose him on Wednesday over Representative Pat Tiberi of Ohio after Ryan threw his support behind Brady.

Brady, 60, is a longtime member of the Ways and Means Committee and becomes the seventh House committee chairman from Texas, strengthening the state's influence over Republican policymaking.

Brady told reporters Wednesday that he had touted his experience and leadership skills in seeking the post. Brady also said he would work with Ryan to push a "pro-growth" agenda, including reforms to the tax code, welfare programs and major federal benefits programs including Social Security and Medicare.

He spoke positively about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama's recently agreed Asian free trade deal, which Ryan had championed and which needs congressional approval in coming months.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Frances Kerry)