CFTC extension runs into stiff Democratic opposition

By Philip Brasher

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 3, 2015 - A House Republican bid to roll back some Dodd-Frank regulations through reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is running into a wall of Democratic opposition.

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The White House threatened this week to veto the bill (HR 2289), and only two Democrats voted Wednesday for the rule that sets terms for debate on the legislation. The House is expected to debate and vote on the bill itself next week.

The ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture subcommittee that developed the legislation, David Scott of Georgia, was joined in supporting the bill's rule by Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. No Republican voted against the rule.

House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said the bill would make “targeted reforms” that respond to concerns of market participants who are “struggling to comply with needlessly burdensome rules.”

The bill, which mirrors one that passed the House last year, would require CFTC to analyze the costs and benefits of all new rules and exempt grain elevators and other agricultural interests that are managing their own money from having to maintain records of all forms of communications that lead to a trade.

Other provisions would limit capital requirements for non-bank swaps dealers; require the commission to provide a comprehensive plan addressing cross-border regulatory requirements; create a judicial review process similar to the one the Securities Exchange Commission has; and require the CFTC to follow a notice-and-comment process before issuing policy statements, guidance documents and interpretive rules that have the force of law. 

The White House, in its statement of administration policy, said the bill would undercut the CFTC's efforts to address end-user concerns while “threatening the financial security of the middle class by encouraging the same kind of risky, irresponsible behavior that led to the great recession.”


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