WASHINGTON — After months of speculation, Rep. Jeb Hensarling has been elected chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Many in Washington expected that the Texas lawmaker, a senior House Republican, would assume the top spot on the banking panel ahead of Wednesday's formal vote by the House Republican Conference. Hensarling is known for his strong free-market views and his criticism of the Dodd-Frank reform law and government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

He will succeed Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., who has reached a term limit on the position.

"I want to thank Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) for his outstanding service on this committee over the last six years.  He has been a tireless proponent of free enterprise and free markets, and it has been a pleasure to serve under his leadership," said Hensarling in a statement on Wednesday. "I am humbled by the support and trust of my colleagues, and I look forward to serving as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee next Congress."

"I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this committee, and I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to foster the deepest, most liquid, competitive, efficient, innovative, and transparent capital markets the world has ever known," he added. "To do this we must end the phenomenon of ‘too big to fail' and reinstate market discipline. We must also reduce taxpayer risk in the marketplace and cut the sheer weight, volume, complexity, and uncertainty of the federal red tape burden that makes capital more expensive and less available. When we do, we can revive and strengthen the free enterprise system — the best housing and jobs program known to man."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.