Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady says he’s retiring from Congress at the end of his term

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, announced Wednesday morning that this will be his last term serving in the U.S. House.

First elected in 1996, Brady is one of the most senior members of the Texas delegation and a powerful player within the House Republican conference. The announcement was widely expected as he was facing a term limit in his role as the top Republican at the House Ways and Means Committee, which legislates tax law.

He made the announcement in a meeting of the Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Conference.

Brady is the second Texas member of Congress to announce that this would be his final term. Last month, Democratic U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela of Brownsville announced his own retirement.

Brady, a South Dakota native, ran the local chamber of commerce in Montgomery County for nearly two decades. He ran for and won a seat in the Texas House in 1990 and came to Congress in 1996.

In his time on Capitol Hill, Brady has had no reservations about engaging in partisan fights, but he mostly carried himself with a sunny disposition. So much so that after he unsuccessfully ran for the Ways and Means chairmanship his first bid, the man who won the gavel — future House Speaker Paul Ryan — threw his support behind Brady during Brady’s second and successful run in 2015.

The pinnacle of Brady’s career came in late 2017, when he spearheaded the successful Republican push to drastically reduce taxes. That win came after Republicans failed to unwind former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law.

The tax overhaul was the party’s most significant legislative achievement in the Trump era, but it is also expected to increase the federal deficit.