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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: "For the Purpose of Receiving Testimony from The Honorable Rostin Benham, Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission"

Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-15), delivered the following opening remarks at today's full committee hearing to receive testimony from Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Benham.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Before I begin my opening statement, I would like to take a moment to remember Mike Gill, former Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at the CFTC, who tragically passed away last month. Mike was a dedicated public servant, loving father and husband, and friend to all he met. He will be truly missed.

Chairman Behnam, thank you again for joining us today to discuss the pressing issues within the derivatives markets and the upcoming work of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Under your leadership, the CFTC has tackled a robust rulemaking agenda.

This year, the Agency’s Unified Agenda is no exception.  It remains ambitious, covering a wide range of topics including rules related to cybersecurity and resilience, conflicts of interest and governance, enhanced protections for customer property, and event contracts. There is no doubt the CFTC has a full rulemaking slate.

This Committee appreciates the CFTC’s commitment to providing effective oversight of our derivatives markets, especially through its transparent, public rulemaking and advisory committee processes. This work is deliberative but leads to better public policy outcomes. I know the Commission’s ongoing rulemakings will benefit from this rigorous and comprehensive public review.

Chairman Behnam, the House Agriculture Committee is closely monitoring the Basel III Endgame Proposed Rule and the G-SIB Proposed Rule. We're concerned that these proposals could adversely affect commodity derivatives markets and could result in increased costs and reduce hedging opportunities for commodity end-users.

Ultimately, the impacts of these rules could trickle all the way down to consumers, driving-up prices in agricultural and energy markets, as well as for everyday goods and services we all rely on. I hope the Commission continues to review these proposals and urge the prudential regulators to rethink these flawed proposed rules.

As you are keenly aware, our Committee has been actively engaged in crafting a much-needed regulatory framework that protects consumers and investors and fosters American leadership in the digital asset space. In July, the Committee reported out the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, a significant milestone.

I want to thank you again for providing us with the Commission’s expertise, knowledge, and thoughtful feedback on FIT21. We look forward to advancing this bill and finally bringing regulatory clarity to these novel assets.

Further, we are all aware that the CFTC has not been reauthorized since 2008.

The Ranking Member and I remain committed to reauthorizing the Commission and providing the CFTC with the tools and authorities it needs to successfully execute its responsibilities.

As we do so, it is crucial that the Commission also ensures that it has the right policies and procedures in place to execute its mission. As with many other federal agencies, the Commission must transition back to normal operations, including by bringing the Commission staff back into the office, where they can most effectively work together to protect our markets.

Again, Chairman Behnam, I appreciate you making time to be with us today and look forward to our conversation.