The U.S. House Agriculture Committee has approved six bills that would amend the derivatives sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Three of the bills have also been passed by the House Financial Services Committee.
Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R., Okla.) insisted that bills don’t make significant changes to the original law: “They are balanced proposals that ensure the legislation is implemented in the manner Congress intended,” he said.
However, the ranking Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, though the Committee should have given regulators the opportunity to finish writing their rules before legislating: “I want to reiterate my view that it is premature to move on legislation until we see the final rules,” Peterson said.
One of the bills gives an exemption from parts of new Dodd-Frank derivatives rules to companies that use derivatives exclusively to hedge business risk. Dodd-Frank already includes such an “end-user” exemption that relieves them of the requirement to send derivatives transactions through clearinghouse. However, some regulators proposed rules requiring end users to post margin under certain conditions.
The bills could be scheduled for a full House vote. However, even if they pass the lower chamber, they are unlikely to be heard by or pass through the Democratic-controlled Senate.