House GOP picks Texas Rep. Brady as new Ways and Means chair

Texas Rep. Kevin Brady has become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee after winning the approval of his fellow House Republicans -- and the backing of the new speaker.

The 60-year-old Brady becomes head of one of Congress' most formidable committees, with jurisdiction over tax, health, welfare and trade legislation.

The former Houston-area Chamber of Commerce official was elected chairman by voice vote Thursday at a closed-door meeting of House GOP lawmakers.

The 10-term congressman was all but assured of the job a day earlier when he won the endorsement of a 32-member committee of top House Republicans.

Brady was supported by the new House Speaker and former Ways and Means chairman, Republican Paul Ryan.