Ag Committee Approves Bipartisan Legislation to Reauthorize and Improve the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 4413, the Customer Protection and End-User Relief Act, by voice vote.
WASHINGTON - Today, the House of Representatives voted to approve a bipartisan bill to increase the transparency, oversight, and anti-manipulation authority over commodity futures and options markets. The House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 6604, the Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2008, a bill sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota, by a vote of 283-133.
H.R. 6604 strengthens trader position limits on oil and other futures markets as a way to prevent potential price distortions caused by excessive speculative trading. It directs the CFTC to get a clearer picture of the over-the-counter (OTC) markets, and it calls for new full-time CFTC staff to improve enforcement, prevent manipulation, and prosecute fraud.
“Commodities markets have seen significant changes in recent years,” Chairman Peterson said. "Trading volume is at record levels, tradable products are more complex, and an unexplained lack of convergence between futures and cash prices in some contracts has called into question the effectiveness of these markets as a source of price discovery and risk management. I am proud that we could work across party lines today to pass this bill which will bring much-needed transparency to commodities and futures markets for the benefit of producers, processors and consumers.”
Provisions included in The Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act would:
Congressional oversight of commodity futures trading is under the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Congressman Peterson. The Committee approved H.R. 6604 by voice vote on July 24, 2008. It was brought to the House floor on July 30 under suspension of House rules, but it did not receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
Previous Committee action on H.R. 6604 and a summary of the bill’s provisions can be found on the House Agriculture Committee website.