Chairman of the Paths and Resources House Kevin Brady
Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Republican Republican Kevin Brady, who played a leading role in enforcing former President Donald Trump’s comprehensive tax cut bill through Congress in 2017, said Wednesday that he is stepping down from Congress at the end of his current term.
“I’m retiring as your Congressman,” Brady said in a speech at a business conference hosted by the Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. “This term, my 13th, will be my last.”
Brady, 66, served for two terms as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the Chamber’s supreme tax authority. He became the senior Republican on the jury in 2019 after the Democrats took majority control of the house.
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Brady faced a time limit to his role as Republican chairman of the committee – and said that fact weighed on his decision to retire.
“With Republicans in the House of Representatives limiting committee leadership to six years, I won’t be able to chair the Pathways and Means Committee for the next session if Republicans win back the majority,” Brady said.
“Did that influence the decision? Yes, some.”
But Brady said he still sees these limits as a “good thing” because they “ensure that lawmakers who work hard and one day work effectively have an opportunity to lead and new ideas to any committee we have bring to.”
Anticipating questions from the curious about his motive for retirement, Brady also said he was “absolutely not” leaving Congress because he had “lost confidence in a partisan congress and the political system.”
“After 25 years in the nation’s Capitol, I haven’t seen a problem that we can’t solve or that we can’t get around. None.”
He added: “Given the time, I’m sure some will say, ‘It’s Trump’s fault’. Nonsense.”
Brady’s most famous moment in Congress was in 2017, when the committee he chaired assumed responsibility for drafting the tax cut laws that Trump had promised on the campaign and promoted in his first year in office.
The nearly 200-page tax bill of $ 1.5 trillion cut taxes for businesses, lowered tax rates for individuals, and streamlined rules for withholding taxes.
Trump signed the legislation on Dec. 22, 2017. Republicans said the tax overhaul would boost hiring and business investment and put more money in Americans’ pockets, while Democrats said the changes had disproportionately helped businesses and the richest earners. Critics also targeted the enormous burden the bill was likely to add to the federal budget deficits.
Trump himself said before signing the law that the company cuts were “probably the biggest factor” in the plan.
More than three years later, the effect of the law remains a heated source of debate. Supporters, particularly those in Trump’s White House, attributed the cuts to creating a strong workforce disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Critics say the bill increased the deficit to provide a fleeting stimulus.
The bill nonetheless marked Trump’s legislative achievement during his tenure. Brady pointed out the cuts in a statement Wednesday, saying they “lifted millions of Americans out of poverty and given hope to so many who were left by the old tax laws”.
“America has regained the title of the world’s most competitive economy, bringing overseas manufacturing and investment back to America,” said Brady.
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