U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who currently chairs the Financial Services Committee, announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
"Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election 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 in a statement on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Despite his retirement announcement, Hensarling expressed how more work remains at the House Financial Services Committee in the areas of housing finance reform, regulatory relief, cybersecurity, and capital formation. "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 wrote.
Looking back at Hensarling's financial positions, this announcement could impact the housing industry.
Hensarling has long advocated replacing Dodd-Frank, the reform package designed to limit the high-risk practices that triggered the financial crisis, and has often been at odds with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray.
DS News has been following Hensarling vs. Cordray throughout the year, reporting Hensarling's displeasure towards the bureau.
Additionally, Hensarling once called it, "the most powerful and least accountable Washington bureaucracy in history."
To defend himself and the bureau, Cordray responded at the time, “Years of uneven federal oversight on behalf of consumers allowed a lot of bad behavior to go unchecked. As the independent consumer watchdog, we are solely focused on the job Congress gave us of assuring that these markets are fair, transparent, and competitive and consumers have access to sound financial products and services.”
However, on June 8, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Financial CHOICE Act, originally introduced by Hensarling, as it significantly amending the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, DS News reported.
In mid-April, Republicans introduced the bill, arguing that Dodd-Frank and the subsequent regulation that ensued harms economic growth and ultimately, the American consumer. According to the proposal, Dodd-Frank’s particular brand of regulatory complexity and government micromanagement made basic financial services less accessible to small businesses and lower-income Americans.
Hensarling has continuously fought for what he is passionate about during his time in office and although his time is coming to a close, he assures the public that he will continue to press for what he believes is best for the financial services of the American people.
"Although I will not be running for re-election, 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," Hensarling wrote.
The industry will have to wait and see how the rest of Hensarling's term pans out to determine the type of impact the end of his tenure will truly have.
Hensarling has represented Congressional District 5 in the Dallas area since he was elected in November 2002.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said in a statement that throughout his time in Congress, Hensarling has always been a conservative, principled leader, Dallas Morning News reported. "I want to thank him for his service to our country, the Texas delegation, and to our conference as Financial Services Chairman," Sessions said. "I am proud to call Jeb not only my colleague but my dear friend."