FederalTexas Congressman Kevin Brady Announces Retirement

Texas Congressman Kevin Brady announced that he will retire after completing his final term as the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.
April 14, 2021
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Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-08) announced on Wednesday morning that he will not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2022.

“I set out to give my constituents the representation you deserve, the effectiveness you want and the economic freedom you need. I hope I delivered,” he said at the Woodlands Economic Outlook Conference.

Brady, first elected to Congress in 1996, is currently serving in his final term as the top Republican on the House Committee Ways and Means under GOP rules that prohibit its members from serving as the chair or ranking member for more than three full terms.

Brady was first appointed as the head of the Ways and Means Committee in 2015 after then-Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was elected to be the speaker of the House.

In 2019, the GOP amended its term limit rules to exempt half-terms from the three-term limit for committee leaders, a change that directly helped Brady stay in the top role for the current Congress.

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In his announcement at The Woodlands, Brady said that the term limit to his position “honestly” factored in “some.”

“But as I see it, our committee leader term limits ensure lawmakers who work hard and effectively have the opportunity to lead, to bring fresh ideas to our committee work,” said Brady.

“In my view, it’s a good thing. And the great news is that our Ways & Means Committee is incredibly talented. I’m confident about its future.”

He also expressed optimism about the future of the nation as a whole, saying, “Despite what the media and social media bombards you with each day, we are not the hateful, racist, divided nation they peddle.”

“They are dead wrong. Turn off that noise and you’ll hear the true heartbeat of America.”

Brady’s seat, Texas’ 8th Congressional District, is centralized in several counties north of Houston including Montgomery County, with a sliver of the district dipping into Harris County.

As with Rep. Filemon Vela’s (D-TX-34) retirement, Brady’s retirement frees up the state legislature to redistrict later this year with less concern about stepping on his toes, though it remains to be seen how the maps might change.

The current lines of Texas’ 8th Congressional District make it one of the most Republican-leaning districts in the state, with statewide Republicans on the ballots in 2018 and 2020 receiving around 74 percent of the vote.

Besides Brady and Vela, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) has previously indicated that this would be her final term as well, though no formal announcement has been made since then.

Unlike in the previous election cycle when several Republicans who were serving in their final terms at the heads of committees announced their retirements, Brady is the only member in that circumstance this time.

Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) and Kay Granger (R-TX-12) will both have another term to continue in that position on the Foreign Affairs and Appropriations committees, respectively, should they be reelected.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.