WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014 - The House passed the Consumer Protection and End User Relief Act (H.R. 4413), a bill that authorizes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through 2018, Tuesday afternoon in a bi-partisan 265-144 vote.
The bill was first brought to the floor last Thursday and saw action Monday afternoon as well before Tuesday’s final passage. Before final passage, members voted on five amendments, only one of which passed. The only amendment to be adopted Tuesday afternoon was proposed by Scott Garrett, R-N.J., that allowed companies already registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid registration duplication with the CFTC.
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., was one of many representatives to admit the legislation wasn’t perfect but said “if you wait for perfection, you’ll be waiting forever and won’t be able to vote for anything.”
“H.R. 4413 also provides some much-needed clarity to end-users, agriculture and energy producers who actually use the derivatives market to hedge against risk and did not cause the financial collapse,” Peterson said in a statement delivered on the House floor on Monday. “Congress never intended for these end-users to be regulated in the same manner as financial entities and H.R. 4413 makes that clear.
“The bill also directs [the Government Accountability Office] to examine CFTC’s funding needs,” Peterson added. “There has been a lot of debate in the House about the agency’s funding level and how that funding should be used. I’m not sure anyone really knows. Having an independent third-party, like GAO, look at the question will better inform the debate.”
House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas, R-Okla., reiterated that this bill protected consumers and added necessary reforms to CFTC.
“I am pleased to have the support of my colleagues on a bill that touches nearly every part of the economy," Lucas said in a statement after the bill's passage on Tuesday. "This legislation reauthorizes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through 2018 and ensures that the agency is working in the most efficient and effective way. It also cements key protections into law for futures customers, such as our nation's farmers and ranchers, and reduces the regulatory load on end-users who represent 94 percent of American job creators. I am hopeful that the Senate will take up this wide-ranging, bipartisan bill in a timely fashion so market participants have the certainty they deserve.”
Walt Lukken, President and CEO of the Futures Industry Association, praised the legislators for passing the bill.
“As derivatives markets are adapting and responding to major regulatory transformations, they need stability and certainty to thrive, and the House Agriculture Committee leadership recognized this as they developed H.R. 4413,” Lukken said.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said there are a lot of areas where the House and Senate will agree, but noted that there is still work to do on the bill.
“[W]e have 21st century markets and we need a 21st century regulator to match. We must make sure the agency responsible for protecting these markets has the resources, authority, staff and technology it needs to be effective - especially in the wake of the 2008 global financial collapse which left 8 million Americans without jobs and devastated hard working families across the country,” Stabenow said. “It is disappointing that the bill provides no additional funding mechanism and adds new layers of administrative burdens, hindering the agency’s ability to do its job and effectively regulate these markets.”
The final vote included Aye votes from 219 Republicans and 46 Democrats. The opposition was led by 143 Democrats against the bill. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., was the lone Republican to vote against the bill.
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