Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
Agriculture Committee Reviews Legislation Amending the Commodity Exchange Act
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review legislative proposals to amend the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The hearing was the first of three scheduled hearings this week to review CEA legislation and featured testimony from members of Congress who have sponsored bills affecting commodity futures trading.
“As the price of oil continues to set records, several bills have been introduced that would affect the regulation of the futures markets that trade crude oil and other commodity contracts,” said Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota. “I appreciate the Members of Congress who answered questions today about the bills they have sponsored addressing the role of speculation in commodity futures markets. As the Committee with jurisdiction over regulation of these markets, we will be thoughtful and deliberate in examining all of these legislative proposals so that we may develop a bipartisan, consensus bill that can move to the House floor before the August recess.”
“Today’s hearing was an important step in looking at the factors that fall under this Committee’s jurisdiction that might contribute to increased energy prices,” said Committee Ranking Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. “We had the opportunity this afternoon to ask various legislators to defend their proposals and throughout the week we’ll be hearing from others affected by fluctuations in the market and that will likely give us a clearer picture of the role of the futures market in accurate price discovery.”
Committee review of legislative proposals to amend the CEA will continue Thursday, July 10, with several panels of stakeholder groups invited to testify.
Congressional oversight of commodity futures trading is under the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Congressman Peterson. The Farm Bill, enacted into law earlier this month over the President’s veto, reauthorizes the chief regulator of these markets, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, through 2013.
The opening statements of the witnesses are available on the Committee website at http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/index.html. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.
- The Honorable Jim Matheson, Member of Congress from the Second Congressional District of Utah
- The Honorable Chris Van Hollen, Member of Congress from the Eighth Congressional District of Maryland
- The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro, Member of Congress from the Third Congressional District of Connecticut
- The Honorable Bart Stupak, Member of Congress from the First Congressional District of Michigan
- The Honorable John B. Larson, Member of Congress from the First Congressional District of Connecticut
- The Honorable Peter Welch, Member of Congress from Vermont At Large