Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today offered an amendment to H.R. 4078 that would exempt the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from legislation meant to prevent the federal government from taking "significant regulatory actions."
"If you look at a gas pump, it has that nozzle; it is actually a hold-up device. Every time our constituents pull up to the pump and say "fill it up', the oil companies are saying "stick "em up'," said Kucinich.
H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012 would prohibit any federal agency from taking any "significant regulatory action" until the Bureau of Labor Statistic's average of monthly unemployment rates for any quarter is six percent or less.
"The CFTC's job is to ensure that the prices Americans pay for gasoline and heating oil are fair, and that the markets in which prices are discovered operate free from fraud, abuse, and manipulation," said Kucinich. "My amendment would allow the CFTC to undertake the task assigned to it by Congress under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and ensure that speculation in the oil market does not increase prices at the pump for consumers," said Kucinich.
"The point of this bill is to support employment. That's a good idea, but we can't throw the baby out with the bath water. If we don't allow the CFTC to protect consumers from high gas prices, we undermine the stated purpose of the bill. High gas prices don't help consumers. High gas prices don't help American businesses."
Speaking in support of the amendment Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) said "This is the most important provision in this bill, if we can persuade our colleagues to accept it, because we have all been victims of rising gas prices."
The House is voting on the amendment this evening.