Kevin Brady, architect of Trump tax cut law, to retire from the House

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Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican who helped write key portions of the 2017 tax cut law pushed by then-President Donald Trump, won’t run for reelection in 2022.

Brady was first elected to his Houston-area House seat in 1996 and rose to become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the chamber’s tax-writing panel. Brady announced his retirement in a meeting of the Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Conference, the Texas Tribune reported.

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Brady has largely voted a conservative Republican line during his near quarter-century in Congress. He has been an ardent supporter of free trade measures and rose through the ranks of the Ways and Means Committee to become its chairman in November 2015 when Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin left that post to become House speaker.

Two years later, Brady was instrumental in crafting the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which marked the most sweeping update to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. The law, Trump’s signature domestic achievement, lowered taxes on businesses and individuals with the goal of unleashing higher wages and more jobs.

The law, among other provisions, reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. President Joe Biden is pushing to hike the corporate tax rate to 28%. More broadly, Democrats, for years, have slammed the 2017 tax law, arguing it blew a massive hole in the federal budget deficit and otherwise favored upper-income earners.

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Outside of the Capitol, Brady has been a stalwart member of the Republican team in the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Brady also earned unfavorable attention in October 2005 when he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while in South Dakota. He pleaded no contest, was convicted of a misdemeanor, and was fined $350. Brady issued an apology.

Brady is the fourth House member to announce his retirement. His district, in its current configuration ahead of 2022 redistricting, is a Republican stronghold. Trump beat Biden there 71%-28%.