Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and a staunch critic of the Federal Reserve, has announced that he is retiring from Congress at the end of his term to a statement released to the press.
“Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2018,” Hensarling stated. “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 was initially considered by President Donald Trump for Secretary of the Treasury, but was ultimately overlooked in favor of the more moderate Steven Mnuchin.
During his tenure, Hensarling was an ally of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who endorsed him to chair the House Republican Conference in 2010. Hensarling has long advocated a rules-based monetary policy, which has led to him becoming a darling of the libertarian Mises Institute. In the House, he has led efforts to audit the Federal Reserve.
Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who now lives in Texas, is reportedly contemplating a run for the open seat. A figure often associated with the Tea Party movement, West remains popular among the Republican base for his bombastic and provocative style, although his star has dimmed in recent years due to his lack of involvement in federal politics. West was redistricted into a more Democrat-leaning district in 2012 and ultimately failed to win re-election. Not long after, he moved to Dallas to lead a think tank, the National Center for Policy Analysis, which shut down in July.