Kevin Brady (R-Texas)

U.S. Representative (since January 1997)

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Why He Matters

When Brady was 12-years-old, his father was murdered, which led the congressman to become an advocate for victims' rights.

Brady is a fiscal conservative who believes the IRS should be replaced by a consumption tax. From his seat on the House Ways and Means panel, Brady led the successful 2004 effort to restore the state and locals sales-tax deductions, which he cites as one of his major legislative accomplishments. He was a supporter of President George W. Bush's tax cuts and the House's chief sponsor of the Central America Free Trade Agreement.

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House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to retire

(J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee has tried, but failed, to enact significant tax reform.

Dave Camp to retire after his current term

Head of the powerful tax-writing committee has served in Congress since 1991.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Texas House of Representatives (1990-1996); Executive, Woodlands Chamber of Commerce (1978-1996)
  • Birthday: April 11, 1955
  • Hometown: Vermillion, South Dakota
  • Alma Mater: University of South Dakota, B.S., 1990
  • Spouse: Cathy
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Committees: Joint Economic Committee (House Chairman), House Ways and Means
  • DC Office: 301 Cannon Building, 202-225-4901

Path to Power

Brady was born in 1955 in South Dakota, where his father worked as an attorney. When Brady was 12-years-old, a man involved in a messy divorce case shot and killed Brady's father in a state courtroom. Brady's father's death would color some of the future legislator's political views as the lawmaker became an advocate for victims' rights.

Early Life in Texas

After attending college in South Dakota, Brady moved to Texas in 1978 where he would serve as the executive of The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce in a wealthy Houston suburb.

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The Issues

During the 111th Congress, Brady voted with House Republicans 95 percent of the time.

A traditional supporter of gun ownership, Brady voted in 1995 against a Texas state bill allowing concealed handguns because of his father's death. "I couldn't look Mom in the eye and vote for this," Brady told a reporter immediately after the vote.

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The Network

Brady has worked closely with Rep. Dave Camp (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, on trade issues. The two are the lead Republicans pushing for the passage of trade pacts with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

Brady co-chairs the Republican Student Committee's Sunset Caucus, aimed at cutting the size of the government, with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).


Additional Resources

  1. Henry, John C., "Congress approves sales tax deduction" The Houston Chronicle, Oct. 12, 2004
  2. "Washington Post Votes Database"
  3. Bernstein, Alan, "Past back to haunt present and future of House hopefuls" The Houston Chronicle, April 7, 1996
  4. "Senate Republicans pressure Obama on trade deals" The Associated Press, March 14, 2011
  5. Paletta, Damian, "Geithner Says He Won't Quit, Takes Swings at GOP Rep. Brady" The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 19, 2009
  6. "RSC Sunset Caucus"
  7. Rep. Brady's website
  8. Powell, Stewart M., "Texas Republicans claim victory on Obama tax cut deal; Gene Green says jobless benefits crucial" The Houston Chronicle, Dec. 8, 2010
  9. Levine, Samantha, "Battle over trade pact puts spotlight on Brady" The Houston Chronicle, April 21, 2005
  10. O'Keefe, Ed, "Bill proposes 10 percent cut in federal workforce" The Washington Post, Jan. 11, 2011
  11. "Brady to Wield Two Gavels in New Congress" Press Release, Jan. 7, 2011
  12. "8th Congressional District candidates speak out: Rep. Kevin Brady" The Houston Chronicle, Feb. 22, 2010
  13. Bernstein, Alan, "Brady, Babin snare GOP runoffs for House seats" The Houston Chronicle, April 10, 1996
  14. Rep. Brady's web site, Spending Reform
  15. Simons, Meredith, "He doesn't like the numbers he crunches" The Houston Chronicle, Nov. 27, 2009
  16. Powell, Stewart M. and Richard S. Dunham, "Finally, something our lawmakers agree on" The Houston Chronicle, Sept. 30, 2008
  17. Lochhead, Carolyn, "Deficits add pressure to cut defense spending" San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 7, 2011
  18. Casey, Rick, "Of mavericks and market meltdowns" The Houston Chronicle, Sept. 30, 2008
  19. Horsley, Scott, "S. Korea Trade Deal May Be Delayed By Other Pacts" NPR, March 7, 2011
  20. Dunham, Richard, "Rep. Kevin Brady's health-care chart goes viral" The Houston Chronicle, July 15, 2009
  21. National Journal, Almanac of American Politics
  22. National Journal, Almanac of American Politics
  23. Camia, Catalina, "Making a case for the death penalty Congressman says victims, families forgotten in Tucker story" The Dallas Morning News, Feb. 8, 1998