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.
Opening Statement of Chairman Lucas at Business Meeting to Consider Legislation Amending Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
Thank you all for being here today for this business meeting.
In a way, we began preparing for today's markup nearly a year ago. That's when we held our first hearing on the implementation of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
We've held a total of seven hearings in the past year, gathering testimony from nearly 40 witnesses.
The feedback we heard was fairly consistent—across the country farmers, ranchers, community banks and Main Street businesses are worried about the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank rules.
We've heard from utility companies that might not be able to hedge against volatile energy prices because they could be caught up in the definition of swap dealers.
We've heard from community banks that may have to stop providing interest rate swaps to their customers so as to avoid strict regulations.
And we've heard from manufacturers who will have to alter their business models because they could be forced to post margin on internal transactions.
It boils down to this: some of these regulations could make using derivatives so expensive that businesses will be forced to stop using them to hedge against risk.
That increases costs for consumers, and reduces stability in the market place. That is completely contrary to the intent of the original Dodd-Frank legislation.
Today, we have a chance to fix that. The bills before us have bipartisan support. They contain common-sense tweaks to the legislation to ensure that as it is implemented, it doesn't unnecessarily burden our job-creators.
Not one of these six bills contains dramatic changes to Dodd-Frank. They are balanced proposals that ensure the legislation is implemented in the manner Congress intended.
They are intended to restore the balance that I believe can exist between sound regulation and a healthy economy.
The bills before us represent sound policy, and a logical improvement to the current legislation.
I look forward to advancing them in a bipartisan fashion.