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Kevin Brady

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Kevin Brady
Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byRichard Neal
Succeeded byRichard Neal
Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee
In office
November 5, 2015 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byPaul Ryan
Sam Johnson (Acting)
Succeeded byRichard Neal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byJack Fields
Succeeded byMorgan Luttrell
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 15th district
In office
January 10, 1991 – January 3, 1997
Preceded byMike McKinney
Succeeded byTommy Williams
Personal details
Kevin Patrick Brady

(1955-04-11) April 11, 1955 (age 69)
Vermillion, South Dakota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Cathy Patronella
(m. 1991)
EducationUniversity of South Dakota (BA)

Kevin Patrick Brady (born April 11, 1955) is an American politician who served as the U.S. representative for Texas's 8th congressional district from 1997 to 2023. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes northern Houston, including The Woodlands. He retired after the 2022 election cycle.[1]

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Brady was born in Vermillion, South Dakota, one of five children of William F. and Nancy A. Brady. His father, a lawyer, was killed in 1967 in a courtroom shooting in Rapid City when Brady was 12 and his mother was in her early 30s.[2][3] He graduated from Central High School in 1973. Brady has a degree in mass communications from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.[4]

Brady worked for the Rapid City area Chamber of Commerce. He was elected to the Rapid City common council at age 26. In 1982, he moved to Texas to work for the Beaumont, Texas Chamber of Commerce. In 1985, he went to work for the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce.[3]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

In 1990, Brady was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, district 15, representing The Woodlands, parts of Montgomery County, and five other counties west and north of Houston.[5] He succeeded Mike McKinney as a representative of the 15th district in the Texas House of representatives on January 10, 1991.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Brady speaks on healthcare in 2019



Incumbent U.S. Representative Jack Fields of Texas's 8th congressional district decided to retire. Brady ran for the seat and ranked second in the Republican primary with 22% of the vote in a six-candidate field. The candidate who ranked first, Gene Fontenot, received 36% of the vote, short of the 50% threshold.[7] In the runoff election, Brady defeated him, 53%–47%.[8] But the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bush v. Vera that three of Texas's congressional districts were unconstitutional.[9] After hearings, the court concluded that there was no longer time to hold primaries and instead forced all candidates (Democrats and Republicans) be listed together on the November general election ballot in a jungle primary. If no candidate reached 50%, a special runoff would be held on December 10 between the two highest-ranking candidates. In the November election, Brady ranked first with 41% of the vote.[10] In the December runoff, he defeated Fontenot again, 59%–41%.[11]


During this period, Brady never received less than 67% of the vote.[12]


For the first time since 1998, Brady was challenged in the Republican primary. Three candidates filed against him. He defeated all of them in the March primary with 79% of the vote.[13] He was reelected with 80% of the vote.[14]


In the May Republican primary, in a newly redrawn district, he defeated his challenger with 76% of the vote. In the November 6 general election, he defeated the Democratic nominee with over 77% of the vote.


Brady won the March 4 Republican primary with 41,549 votes (68%) to Craig McMichael's 19,508 (32%).[15]

In the November 4 general election, Brady was reelected with 124,897 votes (89.32%) to Democratic nominee Ken Petty's 14,930 (10.67%).[16]


In November 2015, Steve Toth, a former state representative from The Woodlands, Texas, announced that he would run against Brady.[17][18][19]

Brady eked out a victory in the March 1 primary with 53% of the vote, his lowest total in his 18-year career.[20][21][22] He spent over $1.5 million[23] to Toth's $89,325.[24] Toth criticized Brady for compromising too often with President Obama,[24] for supporting the omnibus federal budget bill, and for voting to revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank.[25]


Brady won the Republican primary unopposed, as did the Democratic nominee, Steven David. Brady won the general election with 198,241 votes (73.5%) to David's 67,027 (24.8%). Libertarian Chris Duncan received 4,597 votes.[26] As of September 30, 2018, Brady had outraised David in contributions, $4,899,672 to $31,664.[27]


Brady defeated Kirk Osborn in the Republican primary, 80.73% to 16.19%.[28] In the general election, he defeated Democratic nominee Elizabeth Hernandez and Libertarian challenger Chris Duncan[3] with 72.5% of the vote to the challengers' 27.5%. The 2020 election was Brady's last election for Congress.


In 2002, Brady voted for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, authorizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq the next year.[29] Yet in 2008 he was one of the 24 Republicans (and 227 Democrats) to vote to impeach President George W. Bush for misleading the United States into going to war in Iraq.[30][31]

Brady in 2017

In 2005, Brady was a chief supporter of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), working with the Bush administration to secure passage of that free-trade agreement.[32][33][34] In 2011, Brady also voted for free-trade agreements with South Korea[35] Colombia,[36] and Panama.[37] But in 2017, Brady supported President Donald Trump's proposed border adjustment tax, arguing that the tax on imports would place the U.S. on a level playing field with other countries that have the tax and raise an estimated $1 trillion.[38]

Brady is known as the author of a federal "sunset law" that would require every federal program not specifically written into the Constitution to justify its existence to taxpayers within 12 years or face elimination.[39]

In March 2012, Brady proposed the Sound Dollar Act, legislation to require the Federal Reserve to monitor gold and the foreign-exchange value of the U.S. dollar. The bill would also repeal the Federal Reserve's dual mandate (controlling unemployment and inflation) and replace it with a single mandate for U.S. dollar price stability.[40]

In November 2015, Brady was elected the 65th chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, serving until 2019.[41]

In March 2017, Brady introduced an amendment to the American Health Care Act (the House Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act) that would allow health insurance providers to fully deduct all forms of compensation to their most highly compensated executives without limit, repealing the current law, which capped the deduction at $500,000 per executive. Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik criticized Brady's amendment as a "secret payoff" to the health insurance industry because of its cryptic language.[42][43]

As chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Brady opposed a resolution to request ten years' worth of returns from Trump and his business entities.[44][45] In 2017, he said the resolution was an abuse done for "obvious political purposes".[46][47] In September 2020, after The New York Times published an extensive report on Trump's tax records and business dealings spanning two decades, Brady called for an investigation into the Times and the report's sources.[48]

In November 2017, Brady said that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 would provide "tax relief at every level"; in fact, 7% of households in 2018 would pay more in taxes and by 2022, one quarter of households would pay more.[49] Brady's claim that 70% of the tax cuts in the bill would go to households making below $200,000 was found to be "misleading" by FactCheck.Org and "cherry-picked" by PolitiFact.[49][50] FactCheck.org noted that "57.7 percent of the tax relief goes to those families making less than $200,000 in 2019—not the 70 percent that Brady cited for 2019. By 2027, 50 percent of tax relief as a result of business and individual income tax changes would go to those making more than $200,000 a year."[49] The American Conservative Union gave him a 94% evaluation in 2017.

Brady and Representative Richard Neal introduced the bipartisan SECURE Act of 2019, which contained a number of provisions to expand access to retirement planning options and to encourage employers to set up retirement plans for workers. The bill, originally introduced in March 2019, was passed into law in December 2019 as part of the fiscal year 2020 federal appropriations bill.[51]

In December 2020, Brady was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[52] Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[53][54][55] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that called signing the amicus brief an act of "election subversion."[56][57][58]

In December 2020, Brady indicated that he supported a second round of Paycheck Protection Program funds to assist small businesses suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.[3] He was a negotiator during the discussions to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.[3]

In January 2021, after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol, Brady argued that those calling for Trump's impeachment or for the invocation of the 25th Amendment were themselves engaging in inflammatory language and that such calls could incite further violence.[59]

On April 14, 2021, Brady announced that he would not run for a 14th House term and would retire in 2022.[1][60]

Committee assignments[edit]

During his time in Congress, Brady chaired the Joint Economic Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]


Brady believes policies enacted by the Trump administration, including the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, helped put the U.S. economy in a robust position going into the COVID-19 pandemic.[65]


Brady strongly opposes Medicare for All.[66]


In 2012, Brady voted for the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, which rescinded Obama administration policies on coal mining and energy infrastructure.[67] In January 2021, he expressed concern that the Biden administration's drilling ban Executive Order 13990 on federal leases would "kill" 120,000 Texas jobs.[68]

LGBT rights[edit]

In 2011, Brady cosponsored legislation directing the Justice Department to continue defending the Defense of Marriage Act.[69] He opposed Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, citing his beliefs that marriage is "a union between one man and one woman" and that same-sex marriage law should be delegated to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[70] In 2019, Brady voted against expressing opposition to banning service in the armed forces by openly transgender individuals, and in 2021, he voted against the Equality Act.[71][72] The Human Rights Campaign gave Brady a score of 0 out of 100 for his voting record on legislation in the 116th Congress.[73]

Personal life[edit]

Brady lives in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, with his wife, Cathy, and two sons.[74]

In October 2005, Brady was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in South Dakota.[75] He pleaded no contest, was convicted of a misdemeanor, and fined $350. Brady issued an apology.[76]


  1. ^ a b Livingston, Abby (April 14, 2021). "Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady will retire from Congress at the end of his term". Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  2. ^ AP (September 27, 1967). "Wild Shooting Spree Caught On Tape". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. XLII (232). Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Holt, Vanessa. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady stays close to his roots in The Woodlands area, Community Impact, December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  4. ^ "2004 candidates". Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015.
  5. ^ Brady, Kevin Patrick. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: 1774–present. Retrieved on October 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "Kevin Patrick Brady". Texas Legislators: Past & Present. Texas Legislative Reference Library.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 8 - R Primary Race - Mar 12, 1996". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
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  17. ^ Tresaugue, Matthew (November 17, 2015). "Former state lawmaker Toth to challenge US Rep. Brady". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved January 7, 2016. A former state lawmaker from The Woodlands will mount a Republican primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, the House's newest and perhaps most powerful committee chairman.
  18. ^ Tresaugue, Matthew (December 20, 2015). "As Rep. Brady rises on Capitol Hill, he faces primary challenge at home". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved January 7, 2016. In this highly charged election season, the race between Brady and Steve Toth reflects tensions within the Republican Party's conservative wing.
  19. ^ Mekelburg, Madlin (December 14, 2015). "Surprise Congressional Challenge Marks Close of Filing". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved January 7, 2016. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, faces three primary challengers, including former state Rep. Steve Toth.
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  23. ^ "Rep. Kevin Brady". Washington, DC: OpenSecrets. February 10, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Elliott, Rebecca; Tresaugue, Matthew (March 2, 2016). "Green holds off Garcia; Brady, Culberson stave off challenges". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved March 2, 2016. His challengers said Brady has compromised too often, most recently by voting for a year-end spending measure that conservative activists say lacked limits on Planned Parenthood or on refugees from Syria and Iraq.
  25. ^ Recio, Maria (February 29, 2016). "Texas primary down-ballot drama: Congress members on the brink". McClatchyDC. Washington, DC. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  26. ^ Stephen David, Ballotpedia. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  27. ^ Texas' 8th Congressional District election, 2018, Ballotpedia. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  28. ^ House of Representatives, 8th Congressional District, Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  29. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 455, On Passage, H.J.Res. 114 (107th): Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002], Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
  30. ^ "H.Res.1258 - Impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors". Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  31. ^ "Final vote results for Roll Call 401 on H.Res.1258". Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  32. ^ Peter Baker, Bush Brings In Backup to Help Sell CAFTA, Washington Post (May 13, 2005).
  33. ^ Howard Roden, Brady to spearhead U.S. campaign for CAFTA, Houston Chronicle (January 12, 2005).
  34. ^ NCBFAA Honoring Rep. Brady For His Support on CAFTA (press release), National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America.
  35. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 783, On Passage, To implement the United States-Korea Trade Agreement, Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
  36. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 781, On Passage, To implement the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
  37. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 782, On Passage, To implement the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
  38. ^ Daugherty, Alex (April 19, 2017). "Congress' top tax man isn't waiting for Trump's blessing to get going on an overhaul". The McClatchy Company. Sacramento, California. Retrieved April 24, 2017. He won re-election last fall with 53 percent of the vote after being challenged by three conservative Republicans in a primary, and his public role in a national tax debate could spur another challenge in 2018.
  39. ^ "U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady". The Texas Tribune. November 4, 1955. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  40. ^ Kudlow, Larry (March 16, 2012). "King Dollar Will Cut Oil Prices". National Review Online. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014.
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  42. ^ "Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to the Committee Print Relating to Remuneration from Certain Insurers Offered by Mr. Brady of Texas" (PDF). Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  43. ^ "Here's the secret payoff to health insurance CEOs buried in the GOP Obamacare repeal bill". Los Angeles Times. March 6, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  44. ^ "Trump's taxes stay secret as committee rejects maneuver by Pascrell". North Jersey. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  45. ^ "Here's what happened when Pascrell made another pitch to get Trump's tax returns". NJ.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  46. ^ Jagoda, Naomi (September 7, 2017). "House panel rejects measure to seek Trump's tax returns". The Hill. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  47. ^ "House panel to take up Trump tax return resolution". Politico. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  48. ^ Coleman, Justine (September 28, 2020). "Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents". The Hill. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  49. ^ a b c "Cherry-Picking Tax Cut Estimates - FactCheck.org". FactCheck.org. November 29, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  50. ^ "Does 70% of tax bill benefits go to families under $200,000?". PolitiFact. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  51. ^ O'Brien, Elizabeth (December 19, 2019). "Congress Just Passed the Biggest Retirement Bill in More Than a Decade. Here's What You Need to Know". Money.com. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  52. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  53. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  54. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  55. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  56. ^ Smith, David (December 12, 2020). "Supreme court rejects Trump-backed Texas lawsuit aiming to overturn election results". The Guardian. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  57. ^ "Pelosi Statement on Supreme Court Rejecting GOP Election Sabotage Lawsuit" (Press release). Speaker Nancy Pelosi. December 11, 2020. Archived from the original on January 9, 2021. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  58. ^ Williams, Jordan (December 11, 2020). "Democrat asks Pelosi to refuse to seat lawmakers supporting Trump's election challenges". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  59. ^ "Trump's final days put the country at a dangerous crossroad". CNN. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  60. ^ Weber, Paul. Texas GOP Rep. Kevin Brady says he won't run again in 2022, Associated Press, April 14, 2021.
  61. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  62. ^ "Members". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  63. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  64. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on January 1, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  65. ^ Stankiewicz, Kevin (April 24, 2020). "GOP's Kevin Brady: Punishing businesses with higher taxes would hurt 'blue-collar' workers". CNBC. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  66. ^ "Medicare for all". The Brady Briefing. June 17, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  67. ^ "House Votes to Stop the War on Coal". Office of Kevin Brady. September 21, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  68. ^ Mulder, Brandon. "Fact-check: Will Biden's drilling ban on federal leases 'kill' 120,000 Texas jobs?". Austin American Statesman. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  69. ^ "Cosponsors - H.Con.Res.25 - 112th Congress (2011-2012): Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to the Obama administration's discontinuing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act". March 21, 2011.
  70. ^ "Brady Statement on US Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage". June 26, 2015.
  71. ^ "Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives". Archived from the original on January 8, 2022. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  72. ^ "Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives". Archived from the original on January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  73. ^ "Measuring Support for Equality in the 116th Congress" (PDF). Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  74. ^ "About Kevin Brady". Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  75. ^ "Texas Congressman Kevin Brady charged with DUI". Associated Press. October 11, 2005.
  76. ^ Samantha Levine, U.S. Rep. Brady pleads no contest to DUI charge, Houston Chronicle (November 9, 2005).

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike McKinney
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 15th district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Joint Economic Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee
Succeeded by
Chair of the Joint Taxation Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Orrin Hatch
Chair of the Joint Taxation Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative