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Rep. Kevin Brady watches as his portrait is unveiled in Washington, D.C., last week. His likeness was painted for his service as chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Courtesy photo
Special to the News-Times
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Kevin Brady, TX 8, of the House Committee on Ways and Means unveiled his official portrait during a ceremony in the Committee’s hearing room last week.
Brady served as the 66th Chairman of Ways and Means during the 114th and 115th congresses and currently serves as ranking member of the Committee.
The representative is only the third Texan in history to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, considered to be the most influential committee in Congress.
Current chairman Richard Neal called himself fortunate to have Brady’s friendship.
“This is the moment when the aspirations and acknowledgments of the contributions he has made to the country is honored by the people who have known him the best: you who had the good sense to send him to Washington in the first place,” Neal said.
During his years as chairman, Brady led a historic reform of America’s tax code — the first in 30 years. The tax cuts for families and local businesses in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act restored America to the most competitive economy in the world, and led to millions of new jobs, the highest household income, the lowest poverty rate in half a century, and a return of U.S. jobs and investment from overseas.
As a champion of free enterprise and American-made energy, Brady’s first achievement as chairman was successfullynegotiating on behalf of Speaker Paul Ryan for an end to the 40-year ban on selling U.S. crude oil overseas, leading to American energy independence.
Brady helped secure passage of 13 of America’s 15 trade agreements, including President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada agreement to help American workers and businesses compete and win access to new customers around the world.
Brady also negotiated bipartisan IRS reform for the first time in two decades, a historical national ban on surprise medical bills, and sweeping reform of America’s retirement system. These are just a few of his many accomplishments.
“It is an unbelievable joy to serve alongside the Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee,” Brady said. “I love this job, and thanks to the incredible lawmakers and leaders that I have worked with in Congress and the White House, I have been fortunate to do some good things for our country.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “From The Woodlands to Washington, from Conroe to Congress, Kevin Brady has left his mark as a thoughtful leader, a happy warrior, and a dear friend to members of both parties. When they asked which members are here, they didn’t ask by party, but I promise you they are equal in number. He is a friend to Main Street and to American workers and their families. Kevin Brady has served the people of Texas faithfully inCongress for 26 years. By any metric, it’s been a historic term.”
The portrait, painted by Stephen Craighead, was funded by private donors through a program administered by the U.S. Capitol Historical Association. The portrait will hang among those of other past chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and will serve as a reminder of all the great things that can be accomplished in the People’s house.