(Bloomberg) — In his first big personnel decision, House Speaker Paul Ryan put the committee that writes U.S. tax law in the hands of Texan Kevin Brady, who agreed to stand aside last year when Ryan wanted that chairmanship.
Brady, who’s finishing his 19th year in Congress, will be in charge of guiding the Ways and Means Committee as it considers whether to revive dozens of tax incentives that lapsed at the end of 2014.
“He’s a proven leader on a lot of our issues,” said Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican Conference chairwoman.
Brady also will be at the forefront of consideration of trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the text of which is due to reach Capitol Hill any day now — and will have to manage demands to revise the corporate tax code.
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An internal 33-member Republican Party panel chose him over Ohio’s Pat Tiberi; the chairmanship will become official after ratification in a vote by all House Republicans tomorrow.
Ryan’s endorsement of Brady in the meeting “carried a lot of weight” with Steering Committee members, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia told reporters.
Ryan told colleagues that “from his experience being on the committee he felt like Kevin was the guy,” Westmoreland said. “Seniority plays a significant role on Ways and Means.”
Brady, 60, is chairman of the Health Subcommittee, so he’s already steeped in the issues around the so-called Cadillac plan tax, the 40 percent levy on high-cost health insurance plans imposed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).