Leahy: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Reauthorization Bill Further Delays Needed Rules And Does Not Go Far Enough To Protect Farmers And Small Businesses

[WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, April 15, 2016) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) – a leading member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and earlier a conferee on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – Thursday voted against the CFTC reauthorization bill, which the committee passed on a partisan vote.  Leahy’s amendment to strike unneeded FOIA exemptions, cosponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was accepted as part of the Manager’s Package to amend the bill, before passage.  Following are Leahy’s comments on the committee-passed bill.]

While I appreciate the Chairman’s acceptance of my amendment to strike the FOIA exemptions that had originally been included in his base bill, I still have concerns with changes this bill makes to current CFTC authorizations that appear to put big banks ahead of American farmers and small businesses.  I wholeheartedly agree with Senator Stabenow that as the only "cop on the beat” to police fraud, manipulation and abusive trading practices in the derivatives market, the CFTC has been woefully underfunded, and this must be addressed to ensure a truly competitive and transparent market.

Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to address risky practices that put hardworking companies at risk.  This bill should have focused on helping those companies, like fuel dealers in Vermont who use derivatives markets to keep costs down and for our dairy farmers in Vermont who are able to use hedging as a tool to plan for volatility in milk prices. If we allow speculation to go unchecked, it will once again lead to Wall Street artificially driving up prices of gas and other commodities that American consumers rely on every day.

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