Lucas Criticizes Senate Ag Panel's Efforts on Derivatives Bill

Apr 21, 2010

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Frank Lucas issued the following statement after the Senate Agriculture Committee approved The Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act. The committee advanced the bill on a 13-8 vote, and voted down a substitute amendment by Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga), which would have replaced the bill's language with the text of a bipartisan draft the committee had been developing.

"I am disappointed that the Senate Agriculture Committee in a matter of hours reversed months of bipartisan efforts in the House to bring greater transparency to the derivatives markets while at the same time allowing end-users to manage legitimate business risk.

"Last year, Chairman Peterson and I worked tirelessly together with our colleagues from the Financial Services Committee and with the greater regulated community to strike the appropriate balance for increased regulation of the swaps and other derivatives markets. We widely agreed that the end-users did not cause the financial crisis and should not be regulated like they did.

"If the bill adopted by the Senate Agriculture Committee becomes law, it will make it too costly for end-users to manage risk and will require companies to unnecessarily tie up capital that could otherwise be used for job creation and economic growth.

"I look forward to a conference on the bill. I will work to defend the House's bipartisan derivatives package that preserves the ability of end-users to use risk management tools."