Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the former vice presidential nominee, has been selected by members of the House Republican Steering Committee to serve as chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Congress's main tax-writing committee.

He will be succeeding Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., who is retiring from Congress and did not seek re-election. Camp had been working with former Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the current chairman, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on tax reform. Ryan is expected to take up that cause as chairman. The Senate Finance Committee's current ranking member, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is in position to chair the committee when Republicans take over Congress in January.

“We have a lot of work to do to get our economy back on track, and the Ways and Means Committee will be at the forefront of reform,” Ryan said in a statement Tuesday. “We will work together to fix the tax code, hold the IRS accountable, strengthen Medicare and Social Security, repair the safety net, promote job-creating trade agreements, and determine how best to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered solutions.”

Ryan acknowledged Camp, along with Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who had competed for chairmanship of the committee.

“I want to thank Chairman Dave Camp for his leadership and also recognize Congressman Kevin Brady for his tireless work on behalf of our country,” said Ryan. “The Ways and Means Committee is full of talented people on both sides of the aisle, and I can't wait to get to work.”

Ryan has represented Wisconsin’s First Congressional District in the House since 1999. He has served on the House Ways and Means Committee since 2000 and is the outgoing chairman of the House Budget Committee.

His Democratic counterpart on the Ways and Means Committee will be Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., who will remain the ranking member.

“I extend warm congratulations to Paul Ryan on becoming the next chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and I look forward to working with him,” Levin said in a statement. “I have admired his determination, his interest in a broad range of issues, and the humor with which he has approached his intensive work in Congress. 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.”

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