Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith’s Potential Legislative Agenda
Following two rounds of votes, the House Republican Steering Committee elected Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) to serve as the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee for the 118th Congress. Smith has served on the committee since 2015 and was also the ranking member of the House Budget Committee in the 117th Congress. On the Democratic side, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) will serve as ranking member. In the last few weeks, both Smith and Neal have publicly expressed their interest in pursuing bipartisan tax legislation through the committee.
Earlier this month, Smith announced the 10 Republicans who were selected by the Republican Steering Committee to join the Ways and Means Committee: Reps. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Mike Carey (R-OH), Blake Moore (R-UT), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Greg Steube (R-FL) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY). This roster was largely expected and includes a mixture of tax experts and former small-business owners. With these new additions, Republicans will have 25 total members on the committee.
With Republicans taking over the committee, Democrats lost seven committee slots, bringing their total membership down to 18. Former committee members Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) did not run for reelection in 2022. Additionally, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) chose to take a leave of absence from the committee following his election to serve as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. This means that the three members with the least seniority on the committee, Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Steven Horsford (D-NV) and Del. Stacy Plaskett (D-VI), will no longer have seats on the committee.
Congress is back in session until mid-February, with lawmakers expected to gather soon for the first meetings of the newly formed House committees.
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