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Brady Running for Ways and Means Chairman

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, announced Monday that he will attempt to succeed U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means.

U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, District 8 of Texas, visits the floor of the Texas House on May 19, 2011.

* Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady announced Monday that he will attempt to succeed U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. 

If the Woodlands Republican is successful, he would contribute to what is a remarkable consolidation of Texas Congressional power. Currently, six Texans serve as U.S. House committee chairmen. 

In his announcement, Brady stressed his seniority on the committee and an aim for cohesion among a scarred House Republican caucus. 

“House Republicans are unifying behind Paul Ryan and his bold, positive vision for America," Brady stated. "To advance Speaker Ryan’s pro-growth agenda we need a pro-growth conservative Ways and Means chairman who has a proven record of working successfully with House Republicans of all philosophies to advance tax reform, entitlement reform and free trade." 

Ryan's announcement last week that he would run for speaker set off immediate jockeying to succeed him at Ways and Means. 

Brady already has at least one rival. U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, announced his interest in the position last week. He is a longtime member of outgoing Speaker John Boehner's inner circle.

According to multiple reports, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, the current chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is also considering a run at the Ways and Means post. 

It's been an exhausting month for the ambitious Texas GOP delegation. U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of Dallas announced a run for House Majority Whip, but U.S. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who currently has that job, withdrew from the speaker's race. McCarthy hopes to keep that position.

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, was the subject of much speculation as a possible speaker contender, but decided against it. And U.S. Reps. Mike Conaway of Midland, Bill Flores of Bryan and Michael McCaul of Austin all considered running for speaker, in the event Ryan opted out.

Ryan's campaign for speaker is not a done deal, but he is expected to be successfully voted in as Boehner's successor by week's end. Republican Texans prognosticate a near-unanimous vote of support from the delegation. 

The Wall Street Journal reports it is not clear how the new chairman will be selected, as mid-session committee chairman vacancies are rare. 

Typically, a "steering committee" selects chairmen ahead of a new term in Congress, with strong input from the speaker. 

Brady ran a spirited campaign against Ryan for the Ways and Means job in 2014 but withdrew at the eleventh hour.

Still, he wields serious clout among House Republicans. 

The Texas Republican lives in a townhouse with a handful of other Republican members, is a member of the largest state GOP delegation and plays for the party's congressional baseball team — a close-knit lot.

He is also a prolific fundraiser for House Republican campaigns. He transferred over $800,000 from his campaign and leadership PAC to the House Republican campaign arm last term, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This year, he's transferred at least $37,000 to that operation and has given over $30,000 to vulnerable House Republicans, according to his Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports. 

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