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House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry on Tuesday announced he won’t seek re-election next year, saying there’s “a season for everything and — for me — this season has come to an end.”

The North Carolina Republican’s decision comes as Democrats appear somewhat favored to win back control of the House. That’s according to betting markets such as Smarkets, as well as media outlets such as Axios, New York magazine and U.S. News.

McHenry, 48, generated headlines in October as he served for three weeks as the House’s temporary speaker. His stint literally started with a bang —a gavel slam that he later said reflected “pure anger” following the historic ouster of California GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the speakership.

McHenry joins the growing number of House lawmakers who have said they won’t seek re-election. On the Republican side, that group includes Texas Rep. Kay Granger and Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, while California Rep. Anna Eshoo and Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer are among the retiring Democrats.

Some 30 House members are bowing out overall, according to a Ballotpedia tally, but McHenry, who has served in the House since January 2005, said there’s no cause for alarm.

“There has been a great deal of handwringing and ink spilled about the future of this institution because some — like me — have decided to leave. Those concerns are exaggerated,” McHenry said in a statement.

“I’ve seen a lot of change over twenty years. I truly feel this institution is on the verge of the next great turn. Whether it’s 1974, 1994, or 2010, we’ve seen the House evolve over time. Evolutions are often lumpy and disjointed, but at each stage, new leaders emerge. There are many smart and capable members who remain, and others are on their way. I’m confident the House is in good hands.”

The past year has been marked by House Republicans dealing with their slim majority —and therefore struggling to unite on matters such as who gets to serve as speaker, or whether to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Republican term limits for committee chairs stipulate that McHenry wouldn’t have continued as head of the House Financial Services Committee in 2025, though he could have sought a waiver. Past chairs of the committee have gone on to work for financial giants
XLF,
with Republican Jeb Hensarling becoming an executive vice chairman at UBS
UBS,
-2.46%

UBSG,
-1.82%

and Democrat Barney Frank joining Signature Bank’s
SBNY,
-68.75%

board of directors.

From MarketWatch’s archives (2019): How a powerful ex-lawmaker’s move to UBS ranks in the revolving-door game

McHenry’s move could be negative for the cryptocurrency
BTCUSD,
+4.18%

industry, according to Terry Haines, founder of Pangaea Policy.

“McHenry has been doggedly trying to find a bipartisan path forward on digital currency issues of many kinds, most immediately stablecoin.  McHenry will continue those efforts, but very likely the air just went out of that balloon,” the analyst wrote in a note. 

“This provides yet more markets negative evidence of our long- and strongly-expressed view that Congress is abandoning crypto to the untender mercies of Biden regulators, who will continue to jam crypto into the existing regulatory shoeboxes by any means necessary until it is entirely tamed.”

From MarketWatch’s archives (July 2023): House Financial Services Chair McHenry blames Biden administration for sinking stablecoin bill


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