Kevin Patrick Brady (born April 11, 1955) is the U.S. Representative for Texas's 8th congressional district, serving since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes a large swath of suburban and rural territory north of Houston.
Early life, education, and early political career
Brady was born in Vermillion, South Dakota, one of five children of William F. and Nancy A. Brady. His father, a lawyer, was killed in 1967 in a courtroom shooting in Rapid City when Brady was 12 years old. His mother was left to raise five children by herself. Student body president and a four-sport athlete, Brady graduated from Rapid City Central High School in 1973. Working his way through college holding a variety of jobs—construction worker, meat packer, manufacturing worker, waiter, and bartender—Brady earned a degree in mass communications from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he played varsity baseball, served in the student government association and became a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. In 2005 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the university, and in 2001 was a recipient of the Order of Achievement by the national Lambda Chi Alpha organization.
A chamber of commerce executive at the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce, Brady was elected to the Rapid City Common Council at age 26. In 1982 he moved to Texas to work for the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and later the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce.
Texas House of Representatives
Brady began his Texas political career in 1990 when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, representing The Woodlands, parts of Montgomery County, and five other counties west and north of Houston.
U.S. House of Representatives
Incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Jack Fields of Texas' 8th congressional district decided to retire. Brady decided to run and ranked second in the Republican primary with 22% of the vote in a six candidate field. But the candidate who ranked first, Dr. Gene Fontenot, received just 36% of the vote, short of the 50% threshold. In the run-off election, Brady defeated him 53%–47%. However, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bush v. Vera that three congressional districts in Texas were unconstitutional. After holding hearings, the court concluded that there was no longer time to hold primaries and instead forced all candidates (Democrats and Republicans) be listed together on the November general election ballot in a jungle primary. If no candidate reached 50%, a special runoff would be held on December 10 between the two highest ranking candidates regardless of political party. In the November election, Brady ranked first with 41% of the vote. In the December run-off election, he defeated Fontenot again 59%–41%.
During this time period, he never won re-election with less than 67% of the vote.
For the first time since 1998, Brady was challenged in the Republican primary. Three candidates filed against him. He defeated all of them in the March primary with 79% of the vote. He won re-election with 80% of the vote. In the May 2012, Republican primary in a newly-redrawn district he defeated his challenger with 76% of the vote. In the November 6, 2012 general election he defeated his Democratic opponent with over 77% of the vote.
In the Republican primary on March 4, Brady easily won re-nomination to a tenth term in the U.S. House. He polled 41,549 votes (68 percent) to 19,508 (32 percent) for his intraparty challenger, Craig McMichael.
In the General election held November 4, 2014 Brady was easily re-elected to his seat in the U.S. House. He polled 124,897 votes (89.32 percent) to 14,930 (10.67 percent) for his challenger, Ken Petty.
Brady has been a reliable conservative and serves as a Deputy Whip for the House majority. He has advocated lower taxes, deficit reduction and free trade, and called for replacing the income tax with a national sales tax.
As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee he has chaired the Trade Sub-Committee and, beginning this year, became chairman of the Health Sub-Committee which places him in the center of congressional debate on Medicare and President Obama's new health care law. He was also recently tapped to lead the Energy Working Group as the committee pursues comprehensive tax reform in 2013.
In 2002, Rep. Brady voted in favor of the authorization of force against the nation of Iraq.
In 2004 he led the successful effort to restore the sales tax deduction, which had been eliminated in 1986. Brady has been a leader on free trade within Congress, serving as President George W. Bush's point man on the successful passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement and the recent agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. However, he is best known as the author of a federal "sunset law" that would require every federal program not specifically written into the Constitution to justify its existence to taxpayers within 12 years or face elimination. He has introduced this bill at the beginning of every Congress. It was approved overwhelmingly by the House as an amendment in 2004 but did not progress further. In 2006 it passed the Government Reform Committee but did not reach a floor vote.
Brady is the Chairman of the U.S. House-Senate Joint Economic Committee, the third Texan to lead the committee (Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Rep. Wright Patman). Brady and his staff developed the "Organizational Chart of the House Democrats Health Plan", the complex chart that showed the creation of at least 31 new federal agencies, commissions and mandates included in the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. He has also called on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to step down, citing rising unemployment, exaggerated stimulus job claims, unsustainable debt and "failed economic policies" of the Obama administration.
Recently he has introduced three major pieces of legislation: The MAP Act which shrinks the size of the federal government, abolishes obsolete agencies, establishes a line item-veto for each President and permanently ends the threat of a future government shutdown; the Sound Dollar Act which reforms the Federal Reserve(see below)and most recently the Centennial Monetary Commission which creates a bi-partisan commission to examine the Federal Reserve Bank's effectiveness and role over the first 100 years of existence and make Legislative recommendations for its second century of existence.
In March 2012, he proposed the Sound Dollar Act, which ii require the Federal Reserve to monitor gold and the foreign-exchange value of the U.S. Dollar. The bill would also replace the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of controlling unemployment and inflation with one mandate for U.S. Dollar price stability.
Brady's district was hit hard by Hurricane Rita and again by Hurricane Ike, and he has helped lead the Texas recovery effort in the House for both disasters. In 2011, in the interim redistricting map approved by a San Antonio federal court, the 8th District lost seven counties in east and southeast Texas and gained all or part of six counties going north toward Dallas.
On April 9, 2014, Brady introduced the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014 (H.R. 4438; 113th Congress) into the House. The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to modify the calculation method and the rate for the tax credit for qualified research expenses that expired at the end of 2013 and would make that modified credit permanent. The bill was supported by organizations such as the National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform, but was opposed by the Obama Administration because it did not pay for the credits with any offsets.
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Joint Economic Committee (Chairman)
- Army Caucus
- Congressional Missing and Exploited Children Caucus
- Congressional Rural Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
Brady lives in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston with his wife Cathy and two young sons (Will and Sean). He is an original Hometown Hero of The Woodlands awarded by Interfaith-of-The Woodlands, a Paul Harris Fellow in The Woodlands Rotary Club and a member of Saints Simon & Jude Catholic Church. He and his family did not move to Washington, D.C. and he continues to commute from Texas to work in Congress each week.
On October 7, 2005 Brady was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while in South Dakota to accept a distinguished alumni award. He was returning from a reception with his mother, wife, sister, and brother-in-law in the car when it was pulled over for a non-working tail light. He faced a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail. He pleaded no contest. Upon his misdemeanor conviction on November 8, he was fined $350, and his right to drive in South Dakota was suspended for 30 days. Before his sentencing, Brady had stated that "no one is above the law" and he would accept "every consequence" of his actions, even if that meant a jail sentence. "To me, regardless of how this turns out, what it says is that you don't get behind the wheel." 
- "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- "2014 General election returns". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- "U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady". The Texas Tribune. November 4, 1955. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- "H.R. 4438 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "CBO – H.R. 4438". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 4438" (PDF). Executive Office of the President. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Swift, Nan (7 May 2014). ""YES" on H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014". National Taxpayers Union. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Ellis, Ryan (5 May 2014). "ATR Supports H.R. 4438, Permanent Research and Development Tax Cut". American for Tax Reform. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- "About Kevin Brady".
- Texas Congressman Kevin Brady charged with DUI
- Congressman Kevin Brady official U.S. House site
- Kevin Brady for Congress
- Kevin Brady at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|Texas House of Representatives|
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 15th district
| Succeeded by|
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 8th congressional district
|Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee
| Succeeded by|
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority
| Succeeded by|
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