Kevin Brady

For the Irish footballer, see Kevin Brady (footballer).
Kevin Brady
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee
Assumed office
November 5, 2015
Preceded by Sam Johnson (Acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Preceded by Jack Fields
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 15th district
In office
January 3, 1991  January 3, 1997
Preceded by Mike McKinney
Succeeded by Tommy Williams
Personal details
Born Kevin Patrick Brady
(1955-04-11) April 11, 1955
Vermillion, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Brady
Alma mater University of South Dakota
Religion Roman Catholicism

Kevin Patrick Brady (born April 11, 1955) is the U.S. Representative for Texas's 8th congressional district, serving since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes a large swath of suburban and rural territory north of Houston.

Early life, education, and early political career

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 years old.[1] His mother was left to raise five children by herself. Student body president and a four-sport athlete, Brady graduated from Rapid City Central High School, in 1973. Working his way through college holding a variety of jobs—construction worker, meat packer, manufacturing worker, waiter, and bartender, Brady earned a degree in mass communications from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion,[2] where he played varsity baseball, served in the student government association and became a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 2005, he was named a distinguished alumnus of the university, and in 2001, was a recipient of the order of achievement by the national Lambda Chi Alpha organization.

A chamber of commerce executive at the Rapid City area chamber of commerce, Brady was elected to the Rapid City common council, at age 26. In 1982, he moved to Texas to work for the Beaumont chamber of commerce and later the south Montgomery county, Woodlands chamber of commerce.

Texas House of Representatives

Brady began his Texas political career in 1990 when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, representing The Woodlands, parts of Montgomery County, and five other counties west and north of Houston.

U.S. House of Representatives



Incumbent Republican congressman Jack Fields of Texas' 8th congressional district decided to retire. Brady decided to run and ranked second in the Republican primary with 22% of the vote in a six candidate field. But the candidate who ranked first, Dr. Gene Fontenot, received just 36% of the vote, short of the 50% threshold.[3] In the run-off election, Brady defeated him 53%–47%.[4] However, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bush v. Vera that three congressional districts in Texas were unconstitutional.[5] After holding 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 regardless of political party. In the November election, Brady ranked first with 41% of the vote.[6] In the December run-off election, he defeated Fontenot again 59%–41%.[7]


During this time period, he never won re-election with less than 67% of the vote.[8]


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.[9] He won re-election with 80% of the vote.[10] In the May 2012, Republican primary in a newly-redrawn district he defeated his challenger with 76% of the vote. In the November 6, 2012 general election he defeated his Democratic opponent with over 77% of the vote.


In the Republican primary on March 4, Brady won re-nomination to a tenth term in the U.S. House. He polled 41,549 votes (68 percent) to 19,508 (32 percent) for his intraparty challenger, Craig McMichael.[11]

In the General election held November 4, 2014 Brady was re-elected to his seat in the U.S. House. He polled 124,897 votes (89.32 percent) to 14,930 (10.67 percent) for his challenger, Ken Petty.[12]


In November 2015, Steve Toth, a former State Representative from The Woodlands, Texas, announced that he would be running against Brady, facing what could be Brady's toughest campaign.[13][14][15]

Kevin Brady eked out a victory in the March 1, 2016 primary, but he is likely to have a target on his back for years to come.[16] Toth held Brady to 53% of the vote, the lowest re-election total in his 18-year career.[16][17][18] In 2014, Brady received 68% of the vote in the primary.[17] Brady spent over $1.5 million.[19] Toth spent $89,325.[20] Toth criticized Brady for compromising too often with President Obama[20] and was critical of Brady for supporting the omnibus federal budget bill and voting to revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank.[21]


Brady serves as chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.

He has advocated lower taxes, deficit reduction and free trade, and called for replacing the income tax with a national sales tax.

As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee he has chaired the trade sub-committee and, beginning this year, became chairman of the health sub-committee, which places him in the center of congressional debate on Medicare and health care law. He was also tapped to lead the energy working group as the committee pursued comprehensive tax reform in 2013.

In 2002, Rep. Brady voted in favor of the authorization of force against the nation of Iraq.

In 2004 he led the successful effort to restore the sales tax deduction, which had been eliminated in 1986. Brady has been a leader on free trade within Congress, serving as President George W. Bush's point man on the successful passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement and the recent agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. However, he is best 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.[22] He has introduced this bill at the beginning of every Congress. It was approved overwhelmingly by the House as an amendment in 2004 but did not progress further. In 2006 it passed the Government Reform Committee but did not reach a floor vote.

Brady is the chairman of the U.S. House-Senate joint economic committee, the third Texan to lead the committee, after Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Rep. Wright Patman. Brady and his staff developed the "Organizational Chart of the House Democrats' Health Plan", the complex chart that showed the creation of at least 31 new federal agencies, commissions and mandates included in the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. He also called on former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner to step down, citing rising unemployment, exaggerated stimulus job claims, unsustainable debt and "failed economic policies" of the Obama administration.

He introduced three major pieces of legislation: The MAP Act which would have shrank the size of the federal government, abolish obsolete agencies, establish a line item-veto for each president and permanently end the threat of a future government shutdown; the Sound Dollar Act which reformed the Federal Reserve and most the centennial monetary commission which would have created a bi-partisan commission to examine the Federal Reserve Bank's effectiveness and role over the first 100 years of existence and make legislative recommendations for its second century of existence.

In March 2012, he proposed the Sound Dollar Act, which requires the Federal Reserve to monitor gold and the foreign-exchange value of the U.S. Dollar. The bill would also replace the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of controlling unemployment and inflation with one mandate for U.S. Dollar price stability.[23]

Brady's district was hit hard by Hurricane Rita and again by Hurricane Ike, and he has helped lead the Texas recovery effort in the House for both disasters. In 2011, in the interim redistricting map approved by a San Antonio federal court, the 8th District lost seven counties in east and southeast Texas and gained all or part of six counties going north toward Dallas.

On November 4, 2015, Brady was elected the 65th chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.[24]

On April 9, 2014, Brady introduced the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014 (H.R. 4438; 113th Congress) into the House.[25] The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to modify the calculation method and the rate for the tax credit for qualified research expenses that expired at the end of 2013 and would make that modified credit permanent.[26] The bill was supported by organizations such as the National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform, but was opposed by the Obama Administration because it did not pay for the credits with any offsets.[27][28][29]

During his career in the U.S. House, Brady has earned a career Liberty Score of "F" from the Conservative Review, an American media group that provides conservatives with information on politicians.[30]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Brady lives in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, with his wife Cathy and two young sons (Will and Sean).[31] He is a member of The Woodlands Rotary Club and a member of Saints Simon & Jude Catholic Church. He and his family did not move to Washington, D.C. and he continues to commute from Texas to work in Congress each week.

On October 7, 2005 Brady was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while in South Dakota to accept a distinguished alumni award. He was returning from a reception with his mother, wife, sister, and brother-in-law in the car when he was pulled over for a non-working tail light. He faced a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail. He pleaded no contest. Upon his misdemeanor conviction on November 8, he was fined $350, and his right to drive in South Dakota was suspended for 30 days. Before his sentencing, Brady had stated that "no one is above the law" and he would accept "every consequence" of his actions, even if that meant a jail sentence. "To me, regardless of how this turns out, what it says is that you don't get behind the wheel."[32]


  1. AP (September 27, 1967). "Wild Shooting Spree Caught On Tape". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. XLII (232). Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  3. "Our Campaigns - TX District 8 - R Primary Race - Mar 12, 1996".
  4. "Our Campaigns - TX District 8 - R Runoff Race - Apr 09, 1996".
  5. "Texas Redistricting: A Timeline". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  6. "Our Campaigns - TX District 8 Race - Nov 05, 1996".
  7. "Our Campaigns - TX District 8 - Runoff Race - Dec 10, 1996".
  8. "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Kevin P. Brady".
  9. "Our Campaigns - TX District 08 - R Primary Race - Mar 02, 2010".
  10. "Our Campaigns - TX - District 08 Race - Nov 02, 2010".
  11. "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  12. "2014 General election returns". Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 1 2 "In Texas Congressional Races, Incumbents Stay Safe". The Texas Tribune.
  17. 1 2 Smith, Morgan; Livingston, Abby (March 1, 2016). "In Texas Congressional Races, Incumbents Stay Safe". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  18. "U.S. Representative District 8". Texas Secretary of State. Austin, Texas. March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  19. "Rep. Kevin Brady". Washington, DC: Center for Responsive Politics. February 10, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  20. 1 2 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.
  21. Recio, Maria (February 29, 2016). "Texas primary down-ballot drama: Congress members on the brink". McClatchyDC. Washington, DC. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  22. "U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady". The Texas Tribune. November 4, 1955. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  23. Larry Kudlow. "King Dollar Will Cut Oil Prices - National Review Online". National Review Online. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014.
  24. Walsh, Deirdre (2015-11-04). "Texas Republican Kevin Brady to be new Ways and Means chairman". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  25. "H.R. 4438 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  26. "CBO – H.R. 4438". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  27. "Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 4438" (PDF). Executive Office of the President. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  28. Swift, Nan (7 May 2014). ""YES" on H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014". National Taxpayers Union. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  29. Ellis, Ryan (5 May 2014). "ATR Supports H.R. 4438, Permanent Research and Development Tax Cut". American for Tax Reform. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  30. Member Profile - Kevin Brady, Conservative Review.
  31. "About Kevin Brady".
  32. " - Texas Congressman Kevin Brady charged with DUI".
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike McKinney
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 15th district

Succeeded by
Tommy Williams
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jack Fields
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 8th congressional district

Preceded by
Bob Casey
Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee
Succeeded by
Dan Coats
Preceded by
Sam Johnson
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee
Chairman of the Joint Taxation Committee
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Robert Aderholt
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Danny Davis
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