Ag Committee Advances Bill to Facilitate Implementation of Dodd-Frank Act

May 4, 2011

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 1573, to facilitate implementation of title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, promote regulatory coordination, and avoid market disruption.  This common sense legislation gives regulators additional time to write and vet the rules governing derivatives, and brings the U.S. into alignment with our G20 partners on financial reform. 

The legislation is in response to concerns from businesses across the country about the rushed pace of rulemaking by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

"The efforts of Dodd-Frank to increase transparency and stability in our financial markets will be for naught if the regulatory process is rushed. We need to acknowledge that Dodd-Frank set impractically tight deadlines for the implementation of dozens of regulations that will touch every segment of the economy. We can't ignore the concerns of businesses that we're relying on to further our economic recovery," said Chairman Frank Lucas.

By extending the statutory deadline by 18 months, H.R. 1573 gives regulators the time and data they need to develop thoughtful regulations without making substantive changes to the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act.  H.R. 1573 maintains the current timeframe for defining the key terms of derivatives regulations for end-users, requires additional forums for public input, and retains the existing timelines for reporting over-the-counter contracts, which will allow regulators to develop rules based on hard data instead of estimates.

“This bill does not repeal or modify the provisions of Title VII.  It is a first step at improving the process to ensure the federal government is being responsive to the public and is held accountable for safeguarding the economy against unworkable or unnecessary regulation. I hope I can work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the next stage of this process,” added Lucas.

The action by the Agriculture Committee comes after the release of a report by the CFTC’s Inspector General that highlighted the shortcomings of the cost-benefit analyses of rule proposals due to arbitrary and compressed deadlines.

“In order to retain both confidence and a competitive edge in our financial marketplace a rational sequencing and implementation of rules as it relates to Dodd-Frank is not only justified, but vital. The legislation passed today by the Committee would encourage prudent behavior while allowing the CFTC and others sufficient time to move forward with the staggering workload handed to them by Congress last year. While this bill is not an end-all be-all solution given the current track of the CFTC, it is an important first step in attempting to ensure Congress isn’t forced for years to try and correct a litany of unintended consequences that will undoubtedly arise as a direct result of a hurried rule making process," said Rep. K. Michael Conaway, Chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

The House Financial Services Committee is expected to consider H.R. 1573 as early as next week.