The House of Representatives passed legislation to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for five years. H.R. 4413, the Customer Protection and End-User Relief Act of 2014 was approved by a vote of 265-144.
Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) chairman of the House Agriculture Committee stated in a release, "I am pleased to have the support of my colleagues on a bill that touches nearly every part of the economy. This legislation reauthorizes the CFTC through 2018 and ensures that the agency is working in the most efficient and effective way.”
Futures Industry Association President and CEO Walt Lukken released the following statement: “As derivatives markets are adapting and responding to major regulatory transformations, they need stability and certainty to thrive, and the House Agriculture Committee leadership recognized this.”
Riding shotgun on the reauthorization legislation was H.R. 634, the Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act, sponsored by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY).
The bill — which passed the House twice before, once with a margin 411-12 (June 2013) — would provide exemptive relief for non-financial end users from having to post margin on over-the-counter derivatives trades. Entities would still be subject to any margin requirements related to its OTC swaps agreements.
“The purpose of this bill is to remove barriers to business growth that have been imposed by over-reaching and burdensome regulations,” said Rep. Grimm in a press release. “This legislation affects every day Americans throughout Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the entire country.
Lucas’ statement went on to say, “[H.R. 4413] also cements key protections into law for futures customers, such as our nation’s farmers and ranchers, and reduces the regulatory load on end-users who represent 94% of American job creators. I am hopeful that the Senate will take up this wide-ranging, bipartisan bill in a timely fashion so market participants have the certainty they deserve.”
Lucas’ statement did not directly reference H.R. 634, which twice failed to pass in the Senate, though both times was a standalone bill and not part of a wider reauthorization bill. The Senate can still strip out 634 before approving H.R. 4413.