Opening Statements

Opening Statement: CEEC Subcommittee Chairman Austin Scott: Reauthorizing the CFTC: End-User Views

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Washington, DC, March 24, 2015 | comments

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good Afternoon.  I’d like to welcome you to the inaugural hearing of the Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture. I am honored that Chairman Conaway asked me to serve the Committee this Congress by chairing our newest subcommittee.  When Mr. Conaway asked me to step into this role, he said that he wanted to ensure that the Committee never lost sight of the importance of derivatives markets not only to our traditional agricultural firms, but also to the wider economy.‎

Today’s hearing will examine the reauthorization of the CFTC and the challenges end-users are facing as they use these markets to manage the risks of doing business in a global market place. 

We are fortunate to be joined today by a panel of distinguished witnesses, each of whom has a unique perspective of the challenges facing the end-users of derivatives.  We look forward to hearing their thoughts on what issues the Committee should be considering during the reauthorization process.

Last week, Chairman Conaway laid out three principles for guiding the committee’s work:

-        Derivatives markets exist to meet the needs of hedgers;

-        Regulatory requirements should be both minimized and justified; and

-        Regulations should provide clarity and certainty.

These principles, along with the goal to balance access with integrity, will frame our discussion today as we hear from our witnesses. Over the past two Congresses, the Committee has heard from dozens of witnesses who have shared with us the difficulties that they’ve had understanding and complying with the flurry of rulemakings issued because of Dodd-Frank.

As I've listened to them, two things have become clear: first, no witness has called for a repeal of Title VII. In fact, most witnesses have supported the goals of Title VII.  But, and this is my second point, the process of planning, drafting, and enacting the rules could be at best called "troubling."  

Today's task is to look back at the process of the past five years and to examine the places where this committee can take action. We won't be repealing Dodd-Frank and we won't be working to weaken its market-wide protections of Title VII. But, we will be looking to see where our action can clarify Congressional intent, minimize regulatory burdens, and most importantly, preserve the ability for these necessary risk management markets to serve American farmers, ranchers, and businesses.

I want to thank the witnesses for appearing before us today. I know many of you traveled to be here and worked hard to prepare your remarks over the past week. We are appreciative of your time and efforts. With that, I'll turn to our Ranking Member and fellow Georgia Representative, Mr. Scott.

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