The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


House Ag approves six Dodd-Frank amendments

The House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved by voice vote six bills that amend Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said the votes reflected bipartisan “concerns that the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] is overreaching in its rulemaking and it will have a negative impact on businesses and on the economy.”

But House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said in an opening statement that the committee should wait until the CFTC finished its rulemaking before attempting to legislate changes.

“I know the CFTC’s steady progress is driving the Republican Congressional leadership crazy,” Peterson said. “It is hard to peddle fear of agency overreach when the agency acts responsibly and truly listens when putting together a final product.”

“It is a shame that we are focusing so much attention on problems that may happen instead of the problems that have happened like the thousands of customers still waiting for their money from MF Global,” Peterson said. “Unfortunately in this town, people are often more interested in scoring political points than actually trying to solve real and present problems.”

The following bills were approved:

H.R. 1840 would require the CFTC to assess the costs and benefits of proposed actions.

H.R. 3336, the Small Business Credit Availability Act, ensures banks and farm credit institutions can continue providing interest rate swaps for customer loans without being classified as swap dealers.

H.R. 2682, the Business Risk Mitigation and Stabilization Act, ensures that end users can continue to use derivatives to manage business risks without being subject to costly margin requirements.

H.R. 2779 provides clarification that inter-affiliate transactions, when the parties to the transaction are under common control, are not to be regulated as swaps.

H.R. 3527, Protecting Main Street End-Users from Excessive Regulation, clarifies the definition of swap dealer to ensure energy and agriculture end-users are not misclassified and subject to costly new regulatory requirements.

H.R. 2586, the Swap Execution Facility (SEF) Clarification Act, prohibits the regulators from requiring a minimum number of participants to receive or respond to quote requests. It also prohibits regulators from limiting the means of interstate commerce that market participants can use to execute swaps and prohibits the agencies from requiring a SEF to delay quotes for any specific period of time.