House Ag approves 6 bills to amend Dodd-Frank

Members of the House Agriculture Committee approved on Wednesday six bills to amend the portions of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law related to over-the-counter swaps.

The bills were all approved by on voice votes and emanated from oversight work the Committee has done with regards to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed regulations under the new law.

The bills approved include:

  • H.R. 1840, to require CFTC to assess the costs and benefits of proposed actions.
  • H.R. 3336, the Small Business Credit Availability Act, which ensures banks and farm credit institutions can continue providing interest rate swaps for customer loans without being classified as swap dealers.
  • H.R. 2682, which ensures end users can continue to use derivatives to manage business risks without being subject to costly margin requirements.
  • H.R. 2779, which 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, which 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, which prohibits regulators from requiring a minimum number of participants to receive or respond to quote requests.

In a release, the Committee said it has held seven hearings in the past year to review the portions of the law over which it has oversight, taking testimony from market participants.

Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said the changes would prevent regulations that could deter businesses from hedging risk.

Some agricultural groups have also communicated concerns about the Dodd-Frank rulemaking process to the CFTC.

In a letter sent earlier this month, agricultural groups told the agency that too rigid financial reform regulations could make it impossible for individual farmers and small agricultural companies to access much-needed financial risk management services. That full letter is available at http://www.wheatworld.org/issues/othercorrespondence/.

More from the Committee about the bills approved this week is at http://agriculture.house.gov/. 

Source: National Association of Wheat Growers