K Street’s Biggest Opponent

Main St. Agenda by from Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2014

Texas gave America the Lone Ranger, and then—because it is a generous sort of place—in 2002 it gave the country an updated version of him: Rep. Jeb Hensarling. The Republican has spent a decade riding herd on cronyists who give capitalism a bad name by giving or taking special government favors. With the coming dawn of a Republican Congress, we’re about to see if the rest of the GOP sees the wisdom of joining Mr. Hensarling’s posse.

Washington’s Lone Ranger was at it again this week in the fight over reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, a “temporary” program created in 2002 that requires taxpayers to absorb the costs of insurance payouts after an attack. Mr. Hensarling earlier this year set his sights on the program and methodically elevated the subject of its industry payoffs into a Washington hot topic, causing one unnamed industry lobbyist in October to gripe about the reauthorization delay: “If Jeb Hensarling were not in Congress, a bill would have passed with enormous support.” The Texan didn’t get all the reforms he wanted in the reauthorization bill that did pass this week, but he got some. And he made his point.

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