He was elected to the Federal Council on 13 December 1888 and died in office on 22 October 1902. He was affiliated to the Free Democratic Party of Switzerland.
During his office time he held the following departments:
- Military Department (1889–1890)
- Department of Finance (1891–1899)
- Political Department (1900)
- Department of Finance (1901–1902)
He was President of the Confederation twice in 1892 and 1900.
Walther-Hauser-Strasse in Wädenswil is named after him.
- Ryser, Emil (1931). Zur Erinnerung an unsere lieben Eltern (Bundesrat Walter Hauser, 1837-1902, Sophie Hauser, geb. Wiedemann, 1845-1931) (in German). Bern: Büchler & Co.