With latest election win, Smith sets his sights on the chairmanship of Ways and Means Committee

Nov. 10, 2022, midnight ·

Congressman Adrian Smith (Photo courtesy Rep. Adrian Smith)

Listen To This Story

Nebraska 3rd Congressional District Representative Adrian Smith, elected to a ninth term Tuesday, is running to be chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

It’s still not clear which party will control the House of Representatives. But if it’s the Republicans, Smith said he hopes to be in the leadership.

“I want to be effective with what Nebraskans have given me with another two-year term. I hope to become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. This is a competitive process right now,” Smith said.

The Ways and Means Committee oversees legislation on taxes, tariffs and Social Security, among other topics. Smith is competing with Reps. Vern Buchannan of Florida and Jason Smith of Missouri for the chairmanship, which he says should be decided by mid-December.

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call quotes Republican lobbyists and insiders saying they don’t see big differences between the three candidates, with all expected to focus on the panel’s oversight role.

For his part, Smith has already introduced a bill to take back extra money that was approved in the Democrats so-called Inflation Reduction Act to improve tax enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service.

“Nebraskans are concerned, so I’ve introduced legislation already to really focus more on that customer service component rather than a heavy hand of a negative reinforcement of the threats of audits,” he said.

Charles Rettig, former IRS Commissioner appointed by Donald Trump, has denied small businesses or middle income earners would be increasingly targeted for audits. He said the money would enable the agency to ensure tax compliance by large corporations and upper income individuals.