The subcommittees of the powerful Ways and Means Committee saw a shakeup in leadership Wednesday in the wake of former Chairman Paul Ryan being elected speaker of the House in October.
Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi will take over for Texas Congressman Kevin Brady as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, which increased in size by one Republican and one Democrat. Brady was elected to replace Ryan as chairman of the full committee. Tiberi said in a statement he plans to take on Medicare reform and work to dismantle Obamacare.
The Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures was renamed the Subcommittee on Tax Policy, and three spots were added to the panel — two Republicans and one Democrat. Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany will serve as its top member, taking over for Washington Rep. Dave Reichert.
Boustany said under his leadership he plans to work on simplifying the tax code.
“Its structure favors some over others and its complexity constitutes a heavy burden on the small businesses and individuals without an army of accountants to guide them,” he said in a statement. “We can do better.”
Reichert shifted into the top slot on the Subcommittee on Trade, the position formerly held by Tiberi.
“Washington State is one of the most trade-dependent states in the country with 40 percent of our jobs and more than $90 billion in annual exports connected to trade,” he said after the announcement was made. Reichert will also rejoin the Subcommittee on Human Resources, which he chaired during the 113th Congress.
Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam will stay on as chairman of the influential Subcommittee on Oversight. He was one of two members who retained their role, the other being 81-year-old Texas Rep. Sam Johnson who serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security.
Johnson temporarily led the panel while the Republican Steering Committee searched for a replacement for Ryan.
Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida will step into Boustany’s former role as head of the Subcommittee on Human Resources. “As the new chairman, I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to make sure our nation’s welfare laws and safety net truly help those in need without trapping them in a cycle of poverty,” he said in a statement.
Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci was selected as the third member of the Ways and Means Committee to also serve on the House Budget Committee, joining House Budget Chairman Tom Price and Louisiana Rep. Diane Black.
“These Republican subcommittee chairs and members will play a crucial role in taking real steps toward fixing our country’s broken tax code, reining in the IRS, reforming the nation’s welfare programs, expanding trade, replacing the Affordable Care Act and saving Social Security and Medicare for the long term,” Brady said in his media release announcing the changes.
South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice joined the committee to fill the spot left after Ryan’s departure. He will sit on the Oversight, Social Security and Human Resources panels.
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