Ryan Says Extenders Now, Tax Overhaul Later at Ways and Means

Ryan Says Extenders Now, Tax Overhaul Later at Ways and Means

Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, tabbed by Republicans as the next Ways and Means chairman, said he will support efforts by retiring Dave Camp of Michigan to broker a deal on tax extenders in the lame-duck session and then will push for an ambitious overhaul of the tax code in the next Congress.

“We’re a great team, this committee,” Ryan, currently Budget chairman, said Tuesday after winning the gavel of the tax-writing panel. “We’re going to have a team approach. I have a very inclusive leadership style. And I want to utilize the talents of all of our members.”

Ryan took the post after Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas withdrew his challenge for the chairman’s spot.

Brady congratulated Ryan in a statement, saying he would “offer my assistance in any way as he seeks to fix America’s broken tax code, save Social Security and Medicare, and confront the many challenges facing our nation.”

Ryan, meantime, said there would be no shift in the immediate issue facing the committee as it works through the closing days of the 113th Congress. Members of Ways and Means and of Senate Finance are meeting separately to find a deal on extending the dozens of temporary tax measures that expired at the start of this year. Congress has until the end of this year to revive them if they are to be used in the upcoming tax filing season.

“Dave Camp is chair through this year. I am behind what he’s trying to accomplish,” Ryan said.

Sander M. Levin of Michigan, ranking Democrat on Ways and Means, said he expected ample consultations with Ryan since they are neighbors in the Longworth House Office Building. “With our offices next door to one another, we don’t have far to go as we strive to honor the esteemed history of the committee and serve the best interests of the American people,” Levin said.

Brady confirmed in an interview that he withdrew Tuesday after making his presentation for the Ways and Means gavel to the Republican Steering Committee on Monday. “I gave it my very best effort, but I fell short. Now, I want all of us to give our best effort to Paul and to the Ways and Means committee. He’s a remarkable leader. It’s time to unify,” Brady said.

Soon after Brady dropped out of the race, Ryan won the committee’s recommendation to the Republican Conference for the Ways and Means gavel. The caucus is expected to ratify the panel’s recommendations for chairmanships Wednesday.

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