The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are not allowed to serve on any other House Committee unless they apply for a waiver from their party’s congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:
Enforcement of child support laws
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal welfare program
Foster care and adoption programs
The U.S. Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the House of Representatives. Since House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee, the committee is very influential, as is its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.
Recent chairs have included Bill Thomas, Charlie Rangel, Sander Levin, and Dave Camp. On November 4, 2015 Representative Kevin Brady of Texas was chosen to succeed Representative Paul Ryan as chairman.
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