Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Which 9 House Democrats Just Voted to Weaken Dodd-Frank?

Yesterday, the House took a break from its work on Appropriations bills to pass a bill that would weaken Dodd-Frank. All in a day's work!

The bill in question is the Commodity End-User Relief Act, and the "relief" it is providing is for the big banks:
This bill would reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) through 2019 and make several significant changes to the way the CFTC operates as a commission and regulates derivatives and swaps under 2010’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The bill would require the CFTC to greatly increase its amount of cost-benefit analyses for new regulatory proposals. It would not only expand the number of different factors the CFTC must evaluate in any proposed rule but also change the standard of evaluation from ‘costs and benefits’ to a much more burdensome ‘reasoned determination’ of costs and benefits and require the CFTC to assess whether an action ‘maximizes net benefits’ compared to all possible regulatory alternatives. This last change could potentially force the CFTC to compare a regulation to an enormous number of alternative measures – significantly increasing the CFTC’s administrative burden and negatively impacting the agency’s capacity to regulate commodities and derivatives trading.
The bill also includes language that would make each cost-benefit analysis of every proposed CFTC rule open to lawsuit - further slowing the rulemaking process while heaping added cost on the already limited funding for the CFTC.
The bill would also require the CFTC to develop an approach to the regulation of derivatives trading that takes place outside the U.S., weakening its authority to properly regulate such derivatives. The bill would prohibit regulation of transactions booked by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. banks, including transactions that have a direct and significant connection to the U.S. economy – in conflict with the language in Dodd-Frank.
Americans for Financial Reform has urged Members of Congress to oppose the bill:
This legislation would have a severe negative impact on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and its ability to police commodity and derivatives markets. The new restrictions it places on the CFTC would require additional years of bureaucratic red tape prior to agency action, would enable numerous industry lawsuits against the agency, and would create inappropriate statutory restrictions on the agency’s ability to properly oversee markets crucial to the financial system....At the same time, this legislation includes no provisions that address the CFTC’s most fundamental problem – the lack of resources to accomplish its mission.
The White House has issued a veto threat, explaining, "“[T]he funding the Congress has provided for it over the past five years has failed to keep pace with the increasing complexity of the nation's financial markets."

The bill passed 246 to 171.

One Republican--Walter Jones (NC-03)--voted against it.

9 Democrats voted for it:
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
David Scott (GA-13)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

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