Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1996, 10th term.

Born: April 11, 1955, Vermillion, SD

Home: The Woodlands, TX

Education: U. of SD, B.S. 1990

Professional Career: Exec., The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, 1978–96.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Cathy) , 2 children

Kevin Brady, a Republican first elected in 1996, has leveraged his stature as one of his party’s key figures on trade into influence on other economic matters. He chairs the Ways and Means Committee’s health subcommittee, bringing an avidly pro-business focus to the panel. He unsuccessfully vied with the higher-profile Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to chair Ways and Means.

Brady grew up and went to college in South Dakota, moved to Montgomery County in 1978, and headed The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce for 18 years. In 1990, he was elected to the Texas House. When Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Fields announced his retirement in 1995, Brady ran for the seat. His main opponent in the decisive Republican primary was Eugene Fontenot, a physician who said he wanted “to restore America to its Christian heritage.” Brady was the choice of party regulars, while Fontenot was backed by religious conservatives.

Fontenot attacked Brady for being one of two Republicans to vote against the state’s concealed weapons law. Brady had opposed most gun control bills but not the concealed weapons bill. When he was 12 years old, his father, an attorney, was shot and killed while trying a case in a South Dakota courtroom. “I couldn’t look Mom in the eye and vote for this,” he told the Houston Chronicle after the vote. (Then, in February 2013, he said he regretted the vote. “I’ve been remarkably impressed with how well concealed-carry has worked in Texas,” he told National Journal.) After Fontenot led Brady in the March primary, Brady won the April runoff by 53%-47%. After the U.S. Supreme Court in June ordered a redrawing of 13 districts, Brady led Fontenot 41%-39% in an all-party primary in November. Finally, in the December runoff, turnout was sharply down, and Brady won 59%-41%. He has had no problem winning reelection since.

In the House, Brady has compiled a conservative voting record, though he has gained a reputation as more of a pragmatist than other Texas conservatives. Brady is also a deputy whip for the House Republican leadership and in 2011 joined with Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole on a National Republican Congressional Committee effort to raise money from colleagues, which led them to be dubbed “the Dues Brothers.” He is known for being easygoing and soft-spoken, but that doesn’t mean he never gets mad. His November 2009 showdown with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made national news when Brady savaged Geithner’s handling of the Wall Street crisis, saying, “The public has lost all confidence in your ability to do the job.” A year earlier, Brady was the only Houston-area member of the House in either party to vote for the financial industry rescue. “As much as I detest this bill, doing nothing is worse,” he said.

Brady has focused on economic issues. Taking over the Health Subcommittee in 2013, his agenda included repealing unpopular parts of the health care law, such as a tax on medical devices and an advisory panel that critics say usurps Congress’ responsibilities. He previously led that panel’s trade subcommittee and has adamantly fought for more free trade agreements, which he contends are essential to the U.S. economic recovery. Republicans praised him for his leadership in getting trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea passed and signed into law in 2011.

Brady in May 2014 got a bipartisan bill through the House to make permanent and expand the so-called R&D tax credit. The Obama administation, however, opposed the measure because it said it would expand the credit without offsetting the cost. Three months later, Brady released the draft text of a bill to curtail Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse that was collected from bipartisan suggestions from committee members.

Even before Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., announced that he wouldn't seek another term in 2014, he was term-limited under House rules and couldn't continue as chairman. Brady publicly made his case for the job in several rounds of media interviews, saying that he was ready to challenge Ryan, who was term-limited himself as the Budget Committee's chairman. "I’m qualified and prepared to lead this committee. At the right time, I’m going to make that case to my colleagues," Brady told Bloomberg TV. "This is all about the ideas and how we can move tax reform, trade, entitlement reform forward, so it’s good to have a healthy competition." But Ryan took the gavel, and Brady remained in his Health Subcommittee post.

On the Joint Economic Committee, which studies fiscal policy but has no power to pass legislation, Brady as chairman preached the gospel of getting Washington out of the way to let the private sector create jobs. “The ‘government spending is the answer’ crowd had their chance to jump-start the economy. They failed,” he wrote in a National Review Online op-ed in February 2013. “It’s time for a proven, pro-growth approach.” Concerned about the Federal Reserve’s repeated lowering of interest rates, he has called for reforming the agency and appointing a bipartisan commission to study its operations, though Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has taken a dim view of his efforts. He and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas pushed a bill to comprehensively study monetary poiicy in 2014.

Brady was a central figure in the successful effort in 2004 to make state and local sales taxes deductible in the seven states, including Texas, that have no personal income tax. Like Houston-area lawmakers of both parties, Brady jealously guards NASA’s Johnson Space Center. When the agency announced in April 2011 that it would not place any of its retired space shuttles at Johnson, he said, “With this White House, I always expect the worst and am rarely disappointed.”

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4901

(202) 225-5524

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 301
Washington, DC 20515-4308

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4901

(202) 225-5524

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 301
Washington, DC 20515-4308

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 441-5700

(936) 441-5757

One Texas Commerce Plaza Suite 304
Conroe, TX 77304-2817

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 441-5700

(936) 441-5757

One Texas Commerce Plaza Suite 304
Conroe, TX 77304-2817

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 439-9532

(936) 439-9546

1300 11th Street Suite 400
Huntsville, TX 77340-3858

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 439-9532

(936) 439-9546

1300 11th Street Suite 400
Huntsville, TX 77340-3858

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 8277
The Woodlands, TX 77387-8277

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(281) 363-9297

PO Box 8277
The Woodlands, TX 77387-8277

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Alyssa Palisi
Senior Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Todd Stephens
District Director

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Budget

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Disaster

Todd Stephens
District Director

Education

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Energy

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Environment

Todd Stephens
District Director

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Finance

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Foreign

Lori Harju
Senior Advisor

Grants

Todd Stephens
District Director

Gun Issues

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Health

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Immigration

Janet Qureshi
Director of Case Management

Vita Swarers
Caseworker

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Medicare

Janet Qureshi
Director of Case Management

Military

Alyssa Palisi
Senior Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Science

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Seniors

Janet Qureshi
Director of Case Management

Social Security

Janet Qureshi
Director of Case Management

Vita Swarers
Caseworker

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Tax

Lori Harju
Senior Advisor

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Technology

Lori Harju
Senior Advisor

Telecommunications

Sahra Park-Su
Counsel

sahra.su@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4901

Trade

Lori Harju
Senior Advisor

Transportation

Todd Stephens
District Director

Aindriu Colgan
Legislative Director

Veterans

Janet Qureshi
Director of Case Management

Vita Swarers
Caseworker

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Kevin Brady
Votes: 194,043
Percent: 77.29%
Neil Burns
Votes: 51,051
Percent: 20.33%
2012 PRIMARY
Kevin Brady
Votes: 48,366
Percent: 76.11%
Larry Youngblood
Votes: 15,181
Percent: 23.89%
2010 GENERAL
Kevin Brady
Votes: 161,417
Percent: 80.27%
Kent Hargett
Votes: 34,694
Percent: 17.25%
2010 PRIMARY
Kevin Brady
Votes: 52,595
Percent: 79.31%
Scott Baker
Votes: 8,614
Percent: 12.99%
Tyler Russell
Votes: 3,542
Percent: 5.34%
2008 GENERAL
Kevin Brady
Votes: 207,128
Percent: 72.56%
Kent Hargett
Votes: 70,758
Percent: 24.79%
2008 PRIMARY
Kevin Brady
Votes: 51,011
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (80%), 2008 (73%), 2006 (67%), 2004 (69%), 2002 (93%), 2000 (92%), 1998 (93%), 1996 (59%)

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