Hensarling quits House: Powerhouse Texan chairman of Financial Services bows out

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R.-Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee with President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office February 10, 2017. (White House photo)

The chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee announced Tuesday that he will not seek another term in Congress.

“Today, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2018,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R.-Texas).

“Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” he said. “Throughout this time, my family has graciously sacrificed for my service. As the parents of two teenagers, Melissa and I know there are only a few years left before they leave and make their own way in life. I want to be there for those years.”

The chairman would have relinquished his chairmanship at the beginning of the next session of Congress, because of House Republican Conference rules that term limit chairmanships.

Hensarling was once considered a candidate for speaker, but he declined the chance to challenge Speaker John A. Boehner during the Ohioan’s star-crossed gavelship.

The chairman’s own political agenda has been thwarted by Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s own hostility to House conservatives. Ryan opposed Hensarling’s attempts to rein in or eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a NSA-like agency that tracks all financial transactions in the country. After Hensarling and five other chairmen successfully blocked the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, Ryan made its revival his first move upon succeeding Boehner in 2015.

Hensarling said he will continue to work for his constituents and his agenda for the remainder of this term.

“There are 14 months left in my congressional term to continue the fight for individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited constitutional government – the causes for which I remain passionate.,” he said.

“Much work remains at the House Financial Services Committee in the areas of housing finance reform, regulatory relief, cyber security and capital formation to name just a few. Furthermore, important work remains in the Congress as a whole – especially pro-growth tax reform,” he said.

“I could not be more appreciative of the opportunity to serve our republic and of the trust you have placed in me to advance the principles we share.”

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