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Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act.

As a lifelong farmer and small business owner, I understand the need for farm cooperatives and manufacturing companies to manage their risks. H.R. 992 reforms section 716 of Dodd-Frank to ensure businesses can manage their long-term commodity and equity risks.

Missouri is the Show Me State, and I ask the opposition to show me how section 716 benefits my constituents and decreases overall risk in the U.S. financial markets.

Since the beginning, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Geithner have opposed section 716 of Dodd-Frank. Show me how section 716 decreases overall risk to the financial markets when Chairman Bernanke clearly stated:

It's not evident why section 716 makes the company as a whole safer. And what we do see is that it will likely increase the costs of people who use the derivatives.

Since Dodd-Frank became law, no equivalent provisions have been adopted in any other foreign jurisdictions that are working through their own derivatives reforms.

Show me how placing U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage with international banks will ultimately benefit manufacturers in my district managing their interest rate risks.

H.R. 992, however, would prevent financial institutions from forcing much of the derivatives business outside the bank.

Show me why banks, which are a more heavily regulated and a more highly capitalized entity than a stand-alone affiliate, are not a better platform for regulators to monitor swap activity and to protect U.S. financial markets.

Farmers in Missouri must contend with a multitude of weather and financial risks. They use swaps to manage their long-term price risks on everything from the crops they grow to the fuel that runs their equipment.

Show me why we should allow section 716 to increase the costs to my farmers, who merely want to manage their long-term price risks through commodity swaps so they can focus on their real job--feeding America.

H.R. 992 is a much-needed change that improves the U.S. financial system for small businesses, farmers, and job creators. Again, I support H.R. 992, and I urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation. Together, let's show the American people we are for smart reforms in order to allow manufacturers, businesses, and farmers to manage their risks in a commonsense way.

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