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House Agriculture Committee holds hearing, discusses reforming Dodd-Frank to help small business

Washington, D.C. – On March 14, the House Agriculture Committee held a public hearing to review seven proposals that would amend Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Chairman Frank Lucas said, “This committee has heard from numerous market participants – from agricultural producers to public power companies – and all of them have the same concerns. They fear some of these regulations will make using derivatives so expensive that businesses will be forced to scale back or stop using them to hedge against risk. That increases the costs for consumers and reduces stability in the marketplace.”

In the hearing, Lucas noted that there are still concerns with parts of Dodd-Frank that could result in harm to significant portions of the U.S. economy if not addressed by the legislature

“Today’s hearing examined several balanced proposals to ensure Dodd-Frank is implemented in a way that does not disrupt markets or harm the economy,” continued Lucas.

“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,” Lucas said. “That increases costs for consumers and reduced stability in the market place. That is completely contrary to the intent of the original Dodd-Frank legislation.”

The bills, which represent the culmination of the committee’s oversight efforts of the Commodity Future Trading Commission’s authority to write rules for Dodd-Frank, include H.R. 634 The Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act, H.R. 677 the Inter-Affiliate Swap Clarification Act, H.R. 742 the Swap Data Repository and Clearinghouse Indemnification Correction Act of 2013, H.R. 992 the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, H.R. 1003, which would require the CFTC to assess the costs and benefits of its actions, and H.R. 1038 the Public Power Risk Management Act.

“Every single bill … is bipartisan with Republican and Democrats both on the Agriculture Committee and the Financial Service Committee supporting them,” Lucas added. “They are bipartisan because they contain common-sense tweaks to ensure that Dodd-Frank does not unnecessarily burden our agricultural producer, job-creators, local utilities, financial institutions and small businesses.”

“All of these bills are intended to restore the balance that I believe can exist between sound regulations and a healthy economy,” he commented.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and compiled this article from U.S. House Agriculture Committee documents.