One of the most powerful and longest serving Congressmen, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas), won't run for re-election next year according to the Dallas News. Hensarling - who chairs the powerful Financial Services Committee and has been a strong voice in regulating the financial industry - has represented Congressional District 5 in the Dallas area since 2003.
"Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. 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," Hensarling wrote to supporters today. A staunch Constitutional conservative, Hensarling has long believed that Congress was not a place for career politicians. Yet. his announcement comes as a surprise to those who felt that he would be in line for more influential leadership posts. But Hensarling said Tuesday he wanted to spend more time with his family.
"Since my term as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee comes to an end next year, the time seems right for my departure," he wrote in a statement. "Although I will not be running for reelection, 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 he will continue the work of his committee until his term ends.
"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," he said. "Furthermore, important work remains in the Congress as a whole - especially pro-growth tax reform. I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of the people of the 5th District of Texas and all Americans."
Hensarling is the second North Texas congressman to opt against another term in Congress. In January Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, announced that he would retire when his term ends next year.
According to The Hill, several GOP lawmakers and aides on the Hill, before Hensarling's statement to the Dallas Morning News, had said there was an "expectation" that this will be Hensarling's last term in Congress.
Hensarling has chaired the Financial Services panel since 2013, leading the House GOP fight against the strict Dodd-Frank Act finance rules passed after the financial crisis. The committee produced dozens of bills to restrict or eliminate major portions of Dodd-Frank. Many of those laid the foundation for Hensarling’s Financial CHOICE Act, the most ambitious attempt to reshape the Obama-era law. Hensarling has advanced a slew of other fixes to Dodd-Frank through the committee, several with major bipartisan support, earning high marks from the financial services industry. “He has had – and continues to have – a tremendous impact on the financial sector,” said a financial services industry lobbyist of Hensarling, calling him “the leader in Republicans efforts to reduce financial regulation under President Trump.”