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Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I do want to concur with those who've announced that bipartisanship is alive and well at the committee level and on the floor of this House today. I'd like to thank my colleagues on the other side, Mr. Garrett and Mr. Grimm, for their cooperation and our ability to work together.

I'd also like to especially thank the staff of the full committee and the staff of each congressional office for the outstanding work the staff members have done. It is very difficult to get legislation to this point without the benefit of staff having had a helping hand, and we thank the staff.

Mr. Speaker, the passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 established a system for regulating the over-the-counter--that's the OTC--derivatives market. Authority is provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the banking regulators, which have been proposing the regulation that will eventually govern the OTC derivatives market.

Previously, banks and other financial companies were able to amass considerable risk using OTC derivatives

without reporting to the regulator or to the public. The Wall Street Reform Act requires that most derivative transactions, primarily those between dealers, now be centrally cleared and exchange traded whenever possible and that all transaction data be collected and publicly reported at clearinghouses or swap-data repositories.

The new rules are intended to allow regulators and the public to better analyze the derivative risk-taking activities of banks and other financial companies. The new rules are not intended to hold in place onerous requirements on companies that use derivatives only as a means to hedge the risk of the company.

H.R. 2682 clarifies Congress' intent when passing the Wall Street Reform legislation by more clearly exempting end-users that are only using swaps to hedge or to mitigate commercial risk.

H.R. 2682 is also consistent with a colloquy between Representatives Frank and Peterson, as well as a letter from Senators Lincoln and Dodd, which noted that the reform legislation provided the regulators with sufficient authority to exempt end-users from the margin requirements.

This bill passed favorably out of both the House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee with strong bipartisan support. In no way should H.R. 2682 undo any of the important protections of reform legislation. Its purpose is to recognize the end-users' responsibility to use swaps as a part of their businesses.

I congratulate Mr. Grimm and Mr. Peters, and I encourage you to support this bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I would simply close by indicating that I concur with my colleagues. This legislation does enjoy the bipartisan support that we believe will help us get a message to our Members that it is a good piece of legislation that should be totally supported by the membership. So, I would ask my colleagues and Members of the Congress to please support this legislation.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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