WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014 – The Senate Agriculture Committee approved today, by voice vote, three nominees for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), including for the chairmanship.

The committee approved the nominations of Timothy Massad to serve as CFTC chairman, and J. Christopher Giancarlo and Sharon Y. Bowen to serve as commissioners. The nominations now move to the Senate floor for final consideration.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., opposed the Bowen nomination, citing lack of experience in the agriculture sector. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., reiterated that he wants all of the nominees to learn more about agriculture before serving on the commission.

Massad currently serves as the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability. If confirmed by the Senate, Massad would fill the post vacated by Gary Gensler. Massad joined the department in 2009 as chief counsel for the Office of Financial Stability (OFS) and later became the OFS chief reporting officer. In 2011, he was confirmed as an assistant treasury secretary, where he has overseen the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Giancarlo currently is executive vice president at interdealer broker GFI Group Inc. and would take the seat vacated by Jill E. Sommers. Bowen currently is a securities lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP and would assume the seat being vacated by Bart Chilton.

Separately, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and two other lawmakers introduced legislation (H.R. 4413) Monday that seeks to reauthorize and improve CFTC operations of the Commodity Futures, as well as address concerns relating to protecting customers from another market failure such as MF Global and Peregrine Financial. It is the product of a multi-year process that included hearing perspectives from market participants, end-users, futures customers, and the CFTC. “It is a responsible and balanced bill that improves the efficiency and accountability of the CFTC, ensures regulations are implemented in a sensible manner, maintains the integrity of the marketplace, and guarantees our global competitiveness,” Lucas said. A summary of the bill can be viewed here.

The committee is scheduled to consider the legislation today.

“This bill builds upon the previous bipartisan actions of the Agriculture Committee to further clarify that those not responsible for the financial collapse, end-users who actually use the markets to hedge against risk, do not bear the brunt of new financial regulations,” Peterson said.


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