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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Ranking Member Austin Scott Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Public Hearing: “The State of the CFTC”

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

First off, I would like to congratulate my friend and fellow Georgian, David Scott, on chairing this subcommittee and I look forward to the bipartisan work we will do this Congress. Next, I would like to welcome the new members to this subcommittee and of course Chairman Giancarlo.

Good morning, Chairman Giancarlo. It’s good to have you back here one last time before you and your family head back to New Jersey. Thank you for your service at the Commission. I have appreciated every opportunity to work with you over the past few years. I want to start with our unfinished business – reauthorizing the CFTC. 

This committee, and the House of Representatives, has moved a bipartisan reauthorization bill three times in the last six years. I’ve been proud to work with Chairman Scott to get it done. But, we’re going to have to do it again and I hope that our counterparts in the Senate will help us get it across the finish line. 

As you know, last year, Darren Soto and I introduced the CFTC Research and Development Modernization Act. The legislation would modernize the CFTC research and information programs and provide the commission with new tools to engage with developers and learn about technology. It’s a bill that was developed in response to testimony Chairman Giancarlo gave about the difficulty he was having in engaging with the private sector. Chairman Giancarlo, I look forward hearing more about the work you’re doing to engage on FinTech and a gain a better understanding of the need this bill fills as you’ve worked with my office to refine it.

For the past five years, you’ve been a consistent voice of reason regarding some of the most complex work this committee engages in. I have appreciated your steady hand in the long negotiations over how to regulate cross-border derivatives transactions. While the halting progress and moving goalposts have been frustrating for me to watch, it has been comforting to know that you’ve been our man in the room.

I look forward to your testimony on where we stand and what work your successor has left to do. For nine years, we’ve been promising end-users that they would be held harmless as we imposed new regulations to protect financial markets from opaque risks. How we complete these international negotiations will make or break that promise. To me, that’s the most important fact this committee cannot forget: these markets must work for the people who need to manage risks.

Chairman Giancarlo, I want to close by saying thank you, again. Today’s hearing might be a little more like an exit interview than a typical hearing, but I think that’s a good place to start this new Congress with all of our new members on this subcommittee. Hopefully, you can share some of your wisdom with us and leave us with a bigger picture of the importance of these markets and getting the regulatory structure right.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman; I yield back.

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