With Rep. Paul Ryan officially installed as the new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the focus now turns to members jockeying for leadership positions under the Wisconsin Republican.
Most notable is the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, the powerful, tax-writing arm of the House. Ryan served as chair of the committee until his ascension to the speaker’s seat this week, leaving a much-coveted vacancy. Local Congressman Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, is seeking the job.
Tiberi and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, have each made official announcements regarding their intent to seek the chairmanship. Tiberi did so in the following tweet sent on Oct. 22: “Excited for @RepPaulRyan to be Speaker and to be running for @WaysandMeansGOP Chairman.” Brady’s announcement was made on his congressional website on Oct. 25.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, was regarded as a possible contender for the position, but he announced Thursday that he will instead retain his post as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Ryan personally asked Nunes to remain as chairman, according to a press release on Nunes’ congressional website.
In a letter to members of the Ways of the Means Committee, Tiberi outlined what his goals would be if elected chairman. His plan includes “fixing our federal transportation infrastructure system,” “taking the next steps to advance free trade” and “leading the fight for comprehensive tax reform.”
“Once we’ve cleared these immediate hurdles, we must move forward in developing the bold solutions that America needs,” Tiberi wrote. “I have a vision for a Ways and Means Committee that leads in moving pro-growth tax reform and tax relief for individuals, families and employers, while also advancing Medicare, Social Security and welfare reforms. Delivering the message and doing the work on these once-in-a-generation issues will require the time, talent and commitment of every member of our committee.”
Tiberi also stated in the letter that he has “the experience, skills and record of achievement to lead us on this journey. … Together we will create a culture of success and elevate the prominence and reputation of our committee. I’m excited by the opportunities that lay ahead for the Ways and Means Committee and for us, as members of this great institution, to get things done for the people we serve.”
Should Brady win the chairmanship, that would bring the number of Texans in House committee leadership roles to six. While Brady holds the advantage in seniority, Tiberi’s close relationship with former House Speaker and fellow Ohioan John Boehner is viewed by some analysts as a positive for the Ohioan.
According to a Tiberi spokesman, the Republican Steering Committee, which selects committee assignments for lawmakers, has yet to establish a timetable for choosing the next Ways and Means Committee chairman. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, is serving as interim chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.