House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement after Ways and Means Committee Republicans concluded their annual retreat to lay out their policy agenda for 2018:
“We had a positive, and I think very productive series of discussions today about how we build off the success of 2017 in this year. We have a new tax code, a stronger economy, and a President who is committed to working with us to tackle the biggest issues facing the American people. That’s a very strong foundation to build off as we move forward with policies to further strengthen communities and improve the lives of every American.
“Today, our Subcommittee Chairmen led discussions about our policy priorities for the Ways and Means Committee in 2018. And we asked ourselves: How do we modernize NAFTA and other important trade agreements and hold our trading partners accountable? … We asked: How can we close the jobs gap and help more low-income Americans lift themselves out of poverty, to help move them from poverty to prosperity, restore the respect for work, and grow our economy as we’re doing it? We asked ourselves: What role can we play in combating the opioid crisis and protecting more Americans from abuse and addiction? And: What steps do we take to ensure the IRS better serves taxpayers and that it administers our tax code in a fair, efficient, and with integrity, manner going forward?…
“These are the questions that are guiding our work going forward. … I’ve always said the Ways and Means Committee has some of the most talented, dedicated lawmakers in Congress. Certainly, [that] was proven in tax reform successfully. So, with the strong leadership of our Subcommittee Chairmen, I’m eager for us to work together this year to deliver more results for the American people.”
According to Chairman Brady’s website:
“Kevin is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee – – considered by many to be the most powerful committee in Congress with jurisdiction over taxes, health care, Social Security, Medicare, international trade and welfare.
“A champion of free enterprise and American-made energy, Kevin’s focus is creating jobs, reducing Washington spending and sunsetting obsolete federal agencies.
“Kevin previously served as chairman of the influential Health Subcommittee for the House Ways and Means Committee. As chairman, he focused on ensuring a strong, free market in the nation’s health care industry and look for ways to increase the quality of health care, while keeping costs low.
“And as the former Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Kevin is a GOPleader.
“Until 2013, Kevin was the leader of the Trade Subcommittee and led the successful effort to pass new sales agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia – and he served as the White House point man on the successful passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. On the Social Security Subcommittee, Kevin fought to preserve this important program for future generations once and for all.
“Prior to his election to Congress, Kevin worked as a chamber of commerce executive for 18 years and served six years in the Texas House of Representatives where he was named one of the Ten Best Legislators for Families & Children. In 1994 he was named one of Five Outstanding Young Texans.
“In order to stay close to the people he represents, Kevin never moved to Washington. He lives in Montgomery County with his wife Cathy and his two sons Will (18) and Sean (15) – and has logged nearly two million miles commuting to Congress each week.”