WASHINGTON (AP) — The House’s newest and perhaps most powerful committee chairman is a 60-year-old Texas Republican who began life in a family of stalwart Democrats from South Dakota. He also lost his father at age 12 in a courtroom shooting.Kavin Brady 2

Rep. Kevin Brady took over the House Ways and Means Committee last week.

It’s one of the Congress’ most influential panels, overseeing taxes, trade and benefit programs like Medicare.

Brady’s a mainstream conservative who wins praise from hard-line members of the House Freedom Caucus.

He says as chairman, he’s going to do what new House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised: pursue big issues and involve rank-and-file lawmakers in decision-making.