Brady vows friendly bout with Ryan for tax gavel

Greg Nash
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on Friday vowed to keep friendly his looming battle with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for the Ways and Means Committee gavel.
 
“I don’t expect it to be acrimonious,” Brady said during a taping of C-SPAN’s "Newsmakers" set to air Sunday. “We are friends. We talk about this.”
 
The committee's chairman, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), is term-limited and while Brady is the next-most senior GOP member on the tax-writing committee, the nationally known Ryan plans to make a strong bid for the tax-writing panel's top spot. 
 
Brady said that he is not yet starting a campaign to win the chairmanship, in part because he is focused on passing a repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula, which regularly threatens to slash doctor pay under the program. 
 
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“At the right time I am going to make that case to my colleagues,” he said. “The time is not quite right.”
 
Brady said the Ways and Means Committee will be embarking on critical work on Camp’s tax reform proposal in the coming months, and he rejected the idea that House GOP leaders have given it the cold shoulder.
 
“I think the next four or five months are critical in terms of getting feedback,” he said. 
 
Brady was asked about Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) widely quoted “blah, blah, blah blah” reaction to questions about tax reform on the day Camp's plan came out. 
 
“You know how I interpreted the Speaker's words are ‘I am very excited about these next steps of tax reform,' " he said. 
 
Pressed on when a vote might happen, Brady said it would depend on industry and public reaction to the ideas.
 
“I don’t know what the timetable is in the House,” he said. 
 
He added that the rank and file and leadership are working to form a unified front ahead of the November elections and that work on tax reform is part of that.
 
“We are not nearly as united as we would like to be,” he said. “I know a lot of work is being done to find that common ground.”
 
Brady said he would have crafted some provisions of tax reform differently, but when pressed by a reporter, he declined to name them.

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