Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway - Committee on Agriculture Business Meeting: To Review The CFTC Reauthorization Act of 2019

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Washington, October 30, 2019 | comments

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As many on this Committee know, reauthorizing the CFTC has been a longstanding goal of mine. The bill before us is a bipartisan bill, and I’m happy that we’re able to include important priorities for many of the members who ring this dais. I’d like to highlight two.

Perhaps no issue is more central to the Commission’s ability to regulate the markets in its jurisdiction than its capacity to evaluate and integrate emerging technologies. From artificial intelligence to data mining to blockchains, technology is changing the markets and institutions the CFTC regulates. I am particularly pleased that the bill before us includes the CFTC Research and Development Modernization Act in Section 118. Ranking Member Scott has led this fight, and his legislation will provide the Commission with the tools it needs to be a 21st Century Regulator.

Another important provisions in this bill is section 104, which expands the office of Minority and Women Inclusion and creates a dedicated internship opportunity for minority students. Chairman Scott has been a champion on opening pathways for minority students and I hope that these new opportunities will grow the pool of talented individuals overseeing and working in our derivatives markets.

Today’s legislation continues the important work of reauthorizing the agencies and programs in our jurisdiction, but I do want to caution that we are not breaking much new ground. This bill does not address important issues around the emerging world of digital assets, especially those digital commodities that fall within our Committee’s jurisdiction.

There are many outstanding questions around these growing spot market trading venues which I believe this Committee is well poised to answer. We have a strong framework in the Commodity Exchange Act which we can and should use to promote healthy, transparent markets and to protect customers. I look forward to working on those issues in the months to come.

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and your staff for the work we’ve been able to accomplish on this bill. 
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