The House Republican Steering Committee has picked Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to serve as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee next session.
Ryan, a 16-year veteran of the chamber, was picked over U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX). In a statement, he thanked his colleagues for the opportunity to chair the powerful committee and pledged to make sure the panel is “at the forefront of reform.”
Ryan said he will focus on fixing the US tax code, holding the IRS accountable, strengthening Medicare and Social Security, repairing the safety net, promoting job-creating trade agreements, and determining “how best to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered solutions.”
Ryan has been a member of Ways and Means since 2000. Some pundits have said his pursuit of the chairmanship is a sign that he will not run for president in 2016, partly because House rules require members to give up their chairs if they run for higher office, unless granted a waiver.
The full House Republican Conference is expected to approve all committee chairs today for the next two-year session. That vote is normally a formality.