Now That Paul Ryan Is Speaker Watch The Big Race For The Tax Committee Gavel
|Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)|
Paul Ryan looks to be a shoe-in to become Speaker of the House this week. As I wrote on the succession recently, “Ryan is the heir apparent. He would be a distinguished choice and a welcome one.”
You’ll be reading a lot of over-dramatized stories this week about this welcome fait accompli. Meanwhile, what really will determine the future is the barely reported race for the chairmanship of the committee that will have the greatest influence over our, including your, taxes: the House Ways and Means Committee.
That race is between two Congressmen, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH). Both are bidding for the Ways and Means gavel and, with it, the power to shape the tax code, meaning power, among other things, over our checkbooks.
Brady may announce today. By the book Ryan’s replacement as committee chairman will take place within 30 days. Could happen much faster.
“Ways and Means.” The Americans who fought the Revolutionary War didn’t like being taxed any more than we do. So the first Congress named its tax committee something else. “Ways and Means” may be the oldest euphemism in the federal government. Since “the power to tax involves the power to destroy” … let’s pay attention. An insider reports that the member of Ways and Means most closely aligned with Paul Ryan on pro-growth tax reform is Kevin Brady.
Roll Call published an article on October 20th headlined Brady Seen As a Likely Successor to Ryan on Tax Panel:
Longtime political observers such as Ryan Ellis, tax policy director for the conservative advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform, say the 10-term lawmaker would be a top choice to succeed Ryan….
He may not be the only subcommittee chairman looking to succeed Ryan, though. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, who heads the Ways and Means Trade panel, on Tuesday indicated he would be interested in pursuing the full committee chairmanship but declined to elaborate on his plans.
Tiberi also held a conference call Wednesday with K Street supporters and donors and discussed his plans, according to multiple people on the call.
As it happens, yes.
As reported by Vladimir Signorelli of Bretton Woods Research, a leading supply-side investment research group:
If Brady doesn`t get it, something is seriously wrong….
As public intellectual Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, forcefully (and repeatedly) points out, voters overwhelmingly — by two to one — consider America on the wrong track. I myself would much prefer a candidate — Kevin Brady — who will fight to put us back on the right track rather than one who perhaps offers merely a “less wrong” track.
Rep. Tiberi now is being publicly reported for his outreach to “K Street” — Washington jargon for lobbyists and supposedly the nemesis of conservatives. Meanwhile, it’s reliably rumored that Tiberi is campaigning against Brady on the grounds that Brady is “too conservative.”
Brady is the more conservative. But… “too?”
Brady, a center right conservative, is campaigning on the proposition that he is the “most qualified to move Paul Ryan’s agenda of tax reform, trade, entitlement and welfare reform” and that he “Revitalized [the] Joint Economic Committee into [a] free-market think tank.”
Among the credentials Brady cites are his “Relentless challenging the White House economic policies, and Fed’s stimulus, near-zero interest rate policy and discretionary rules,” “Pushing Sound Dollar Act and Centennial Monetary Commission to reform [the] role of the Fed in its second 100-years,” and having “Unveiled a comprehensive spending cap bill which AEI’s Kevin Hassett describes as ‘the most comprehensive and well-conceived plan ever to reduce the size of the federal government.’”
What an AEI scholar calls the “most comprehensive and well-conceived plan ever to reduce the size of the federal government” sounds like potent yet pragmatic conservatism. This is not torches and pitchforks. One rather wishes that Mr. Tiberi had found different grounds for an effort to line up 17 votes for his election than calling Brady “too” conservative.
The GOP and America are at an inflection point. Will our elected officials pursue, in a serious-minded way, free market economic growth as paramount? Policies creating robust job creation and sizzling economic growth are precisely what is needed to lift Congress out of the chaos that brought down Speaker Boehner. Addressing the “Growth Gap” has been Brady’s preeminent issue.
Speaker Ryan’s most pressing order of business will be to convene the Republican Steering Committee to pick a new Ways and Means Chairman.
If the Republican Steering Committee chooses Brady it signals that the House Republicans are prioritizing job creation and sizzling free market economic growth.
If the Committee chooses Tiberi it signals that the House Republicans are returning to business as usual.
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.
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