WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 - Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, who represents a suburban Houston district, was selected by the House GOP Steering Committee to take over as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. 

Brady beat out Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi, who has more of an agricultural district. The steering committee’s nomination must be formally ratified by the full Republican conference at a meeting Thursday.

Ways and Means, which will handle House consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, writes tax law and oversees trade policy as well Social Security, Medicare and various welfare programs. The chairmanship came open when Paul Ryan was elected House speaker. 

Brady may have benefitted by support from more hard-line conservatives. The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal noted that Tiberi supported a discharge petition to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank while Brady did not. Tiberi was also close to former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“We have a lot of work to do, and it won’t happen overnight for this reason: While many of these solutions originate in the Ways and Means Committee, I intend to seek the ideas and active engagement of our Republican Conference,” said Brady. “Big challenges require big effort from all of us.”

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Brady said the committee would be focused on “taking real steps toward fixing this broken tax code, reforming welfare, saving Social Security and Medicare for the long term and enlarging America’s economic freedom to trade.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, who represents a district in California’s heavily agricultural Central Valley, considered running for Ways and Means chairman but was asked to stay on as chairman of Intelligence. 

Tiberi said he and Brady “share the goal of passing pro-growth legislation that provides certainty for employers and families.”

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., will fill the coveted committee vacancy created by Ryan’s departure.