Ag Committee Examines Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Dodd-Frank Act & Prevent Harm to the Economy

Mar 14, 2013 Issues: Dodd-Frank Implementation

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a public hearing to review seven legislative proposals amending Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The proposals are the culmination of the committee's oversight efforts of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as it writes rules for Dodd-Frank.

"This committee has heard from numerous market participants - from agricultural producers to public power companies - and all of them have the same concerns. They fear some of these regulations will make using derivatives so expensive that businesses will be forced to scale back or stop using them to hedge against risk. That increases the costs for consumers and reduces stability in the marketplace. Today's hearing examined several balanced proposals to ensure Dodd-Frank is implemented in a way that does not disrupt markets or harm the economy," said Chairman Frank Lucas.

The bills include the following:

H.R. 634, the Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act, ensures that end-users can continue to use derivatives to manage business risks without being subject to costly margin requirements. H.R. 677, the Inter-Affiliate Swap Clarification Act, ensures that transactions between affiliates within a single corporate group are not regulated as swaps. H.R. 742, the Swap Data Repository and Clearinghouse Indemnification Correction Act of 2013, would allow data sharing between U.S. and international regulators and swap data repositories without adding an unnecessary layer of legal bureaucracy. H.R. 992, the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, amends Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act to limit the swap desk push-out requirement so that it does not apply to equity or commodity swaps. H.R. 1003 would require the CFTC to assess the costs and benefits of its actions. And, H.R. 1038, the Public Power Risk Management Act, would allow producers, utility companies, and other non-financial entities to continue entering into energy swaps with government-owned utilities without danger of being required to register with the CFTC as a swap dealer.

Additionally, the Committee also examined one draft proposal, the Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act, which would direct the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt a joint rule on how they will regulate cross-border swaps transactions as part of the new requirements created in the Dodd-Frank Act.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below.

Witness List:

Panel I

The Honorable Gary Gensler, Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington, D.C.

Panel II

The Honorable Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., Acting President and CEO, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Washington, D.C.

Mr. Jim Colby, Assistant Treasurer, Honeywell International Inc., Morristown, New Jersey; on behalf of the Coalition for Derivatives End-Users

Mr. Terrance Naulty, General Manager & CEO, Owensboro Municipal Utilities, Owensboro, Kentucky; on behalf of the American Public Power Association

Mr. Larry Thompson, General Counsel, Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), New York, New York

Ms. Marie Hollein, President and CEO, Financial Executives International (FEI) and Financial Executives Research Foundation, Washington, D.C.; on behalf of the Coalition for Derivatives End-Users

Mr. Wallace C. Turbeville, Senior Fellow, Demos, New York, New York; on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform