Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady on Wednesday became the clear favorite to be the House's next lead tax-writer after winning the endorsement of a key House panel.
The House Republican Steering Committee, which includes House GOP leadership and House members representing regions across the country, backed The Woodlands Republican to succeed Paul Ryan as the next chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Brady, whose rival for the post was U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, is set to be the seventh Texan to currently chair a standing — or permanent — House committee.
All House Republicans will vote on the chairman Thursday morning, but the GOP caucus rarely votes against the endorsement by a steering committee.
In a statement late Wednesday afternoon, Brady said he was grateful to win the committee's endorsement to be Ways and Means chairman.
“I’m honored to lead this talented committee because House Republicans and Speaker Paul Ryan are advancing a pro-growth agenda to get this country back on track," said Brady, who also commended Tiberi on the race.
"Pat is a deeply talented and respected leader, and our committee will continue to rely on his guidance as we move our pro-growth agenda forward,” Brady said.
Tiberi returned the praise in a statement, saying, "I congratulate Kevin Brady on receiving the support of the Steering Committee to be the next chairman of the Ways and Means Committee." Tiberi added that they "share the goal of passing pro-growth legislation."
With Brady poised to become Ways and Means chairman, Texans are set to hold the gavel of one-third of the 21 standing House committees — an enormous reach of influence that touches national security, fiscal matters and domestic policy.
Before the steering committee made its endorsement Wednesday, Brady and Tiberi each gave presentations to the committee to make their best case for the chairmanship.
Many House members, even in the Texas delegation, wondered during the race if the Texas dominance was wearing thin on other members and would impair Brady's chances. But that did not come to pass in the endorsement process.
A Brady win would not set a new record for chairs in a state delegation — both Pennsylvania and New York have held nine or more chairmanships at separate times.
This was the second time Brady ran for the slot — he pulled out just before voting began in a 2014 run against Ryan, who now serves as House speaker.
Brady described the committee chairmanship in an interview last week as a job that directly affected American lives.
“Ways and Means is the committee that tackles the big issues that affects people’s lives and their jobs in a major way," he said, arguing that the way taxes are crafted affect issues such as Social Security, trade and Medicare.
“Basically, it touches every aspect of your life," he added.
Kelsey Snell of The Washington Post contributed to this report.