Washington, D.C. — Today, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following remarks at a Full Committee meeting concerning the adoption of the Committee Rules for the 116th Congress.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for convening the Committee to adopt these rules for the Ways and Means Committee for the 116th Congress. I also want to congratulate my friend, Mr. Neal, on becoming Chairman of the House’s Senior Committee.
“Richie and I have served on Ways and Means together for years. And I know what an honor it is to be able to preside over this storied Committee.
“I look forward to continuing to serve alongside him again these next two years, and I wish him the best of luck as he holds the gavel this Congress.
“I’m proud to support these rules.
“The Committee on Ways and Means has a very rich history. With its responsibilities being directly derived from our Constitution, it is in this room where we debate some of the biggest issues facing our country, workers, and economy.
“And though our Members don’t see eye to eye on everything, this Committee has a deeply rooted tradition of bipartisanship.
“From fighting the opioid crisis to trade agreements; reforming our nation’s welfare programs to cutting taxes for middle-class families.
“It is this Committee that debates all the intricate, important details that make those policies work.
“Throughout the 115th Congress, the vast majority of bills our Committee passed were bipartisan.
“Including important legislation like the STOP Act, a law that will make our communities safer by stopping the flow of fentanyl through the international mail system.
“We also were able to have signed into law temporary tariff relief for our manufacturers on over 7,000 products that are not available in the U.S. – cutting their taxes so they can continue to grow jobs here at home.
“We took the first major step in over 20 years to redesign the IRS to make it an agency with a single purpose: quality taxpayer service.
“We worked together to make a number of needed improvements to Medicare. We focused on how we can best support our most fragile seniors, while also helping expand access for rural patients and health care providers in this important program.
“We advanced measures to improve Social Security privacy — such as fighting against synthetic ID fraud for children who fall victim to identity theft. We also worked to promote fairness for Tribal communities when it comes to Social Security.
“And we took action to transform our nation’s foster care system, helping our most vulnerable kids find good and loving homes.
“We know that when we work together, we can pass laws that make a real and immediate impact for our families and local businesses.
“Ways and Means is not a place for politics; it is place where we do work.
“And I’m hopeful that we’ll have the opportunity to work together as Republicans and Democrats to continue putting forth policies that empower workers and families across the country.
“With unemployment at 3.9 percent, wages rising at their fastest pace since 2009, and nearly 7 million job openings, we have an opportunity to work together to keep growing our economy.
“I look forward to working closely with Chairman Neal, our new Members — including Republicans Jodey Arrington, Drew Ferguson, and Ron Estes; as well as Democrats Gwen Moore, Dan Kildee, Brendan Boyle, Don Beyer, Dwight Evans, Tom Suozzi, Jimmy Panetta, Stephanie Murphy, Brad Schneider, Steven Horsford, and Jimmy Gomez — and our returning Committee colleagues too, throughout these next two years.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”