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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House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April
It’s a aspiration, not a plan.
House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.
“Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”
Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.
“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.”
Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.
It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.
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