At a Glance
- Career History: Minority Chief Counsel, House Ways and Means Committee
- Birthday: November 21, 1951
- Hometown: Waycross, Ga.
- Alma Mater: Wesleyan College, B.A. (cum laude), 1973; University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1975; Georgetown Univesrity Law School
- Committees: House Ways and Means
- DC Office: 1102 Longworth House Office BuildingWashington D.C. 20515
Path To Power
A native of middle Georgia, Mays attended Wesleyan College, a women's college in Macon, Ga. She continued on to law school at the University of Georgia's Law School in Athens, Ga.
Mays earned her J.D. in 1975 and went straight to Capitol Hill. That year, she began work on the House Ways and Means Committee as a tax staffer for the subcomittee on Select Revenue Measures, one of three tax counsels on the committee. In that role, she helped write the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986.
The House Ways and Means Committee has wide-ranging power over tax legislation and any bills related to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. In more than three decades on the comittee, Mays has worked on scores of tax bills, including the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986.
Mays will be in the thick of things as President Obama and a newly-empowered House Republican majority hash out a deal on extension of the George W. Bush tax cuts.
In her 35 years on the House Ways and Means Committee, Mays has worked under a long series of chairmen and ranking members, some of the whom ranked as the most powerful lawmakers on the Hill. Recently, she has served Reps. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Sander Levin (D-Mich.).
As Ways and Means' staff director, she oversees John Buckley, who has been chief tax counsel for the Democrats since 1995.