A fierce critic of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, Hensarling has also been a lead sponsor on sweeping legislation that would privatize housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a matter of years. Those two entities were bailed out by the federal government in the fall of 2008 and have required over $150 billion in federal support to stay afloat.
Hensarling also served as head of the House Republican Conference in the 112th Congress.
Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) is expected to serve as the new ranking Democrat on the panel. She would replace Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who announced his retirement in November 2011. The outspoken Democrat is expected to easily win reelection.