Texas Rep. Brady to Challenge Paul Ryan for Ways and Means Chair

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 05:25 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Rep. Kevin Brady reportedly wants the top spot on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee next year, setting up a possible battle for the gavel with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.

The current No. 2 Republican on Ways and Means told Bloomberg in an interview airing Friday that "I'm qualified and prepared to lead this committee."

Ryan, who is the No. 3 ranking GOP member on the panel, has made his case in the past for seeking its chairmanship, which is up for grabs because the current chairman, Michigan Republican Dave Camp, must relinquish the title in 2015 due to term limits.

"He's a terrific leader, a good friend," Brady, a Texas Republican and the current chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, told Bloomberg, according to a transcript obtained by Roll Call.

But he said that won't stop him from going for a post he says he's ready to take on.

"At the right time, I'm going to make that case to my colleagues," he said. "This is all about the ideas and how we can move tax reform, trade, entitlement reform forward, so it's good to have a healthy competition."

"I'm going to be in a position to lead this committee," Brady continued. "We'll see how all of it goes … Hopefully we're going to present two good choices."

There was no immediate comment from Ryan, Roll Call reported.

Roll Call pointed out the House Republican Conference doesn't adhere strictly to seniority when giving out committee leadership assignments.

Ryan, who crafted a two-year bipartisan budget deal with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state, late last year, has also been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016. He says he's keeping his options open.

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