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Public Statements

American Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to the so-called cap & trade legislation before us. While there are countless reasons to oppose it, including the millions of jobs that are expected to be lost, I wanted to take a moment to speak on the amendment that I offered to this legislation. More than 200 amendments were offered to this legislation in addition to my amendment, and all of them, with the exception of one, was rejected by the Democrat majority.

My amendment would have stricken all sections of H.R. 2454 that deal with the regulation of derivatives. This bipartisan effort was supported by six cosponsors, including Democratic Reps. Mike McMahon and David Scott as well as FSC Ranking Member Bachus and several others.

Despite lacking any jurisdiction and expertise, the Energy & Commerce Committee added sections to this bill imposing costly new regulations on this portion of our financial services sector. I think we can all agree that a broader discussion within Congress need to take place on these issues, including at the committees of jurisdiction where there is experience and expertise in dealing with them.

Just one week ago, Congress received an outline of President Obama's financial regulatory reform plan, which includes suggestions for the regulation of derivatives. The Financial Services Committee has not yet had a chance to digest the President's proposal, nor has it fully debated this issue within the context of broader financial regulatory reform, which will continue to be the focus of our committee's work over the next several months.

It is not appropriate to enact language that regulates a portion of the derivatives market, potentially in a manner that conflicts with later consensus on how to regulate the industry at large. Ninety-four percent of the 500 largest global companies use derivatives to manage risk and maintain stable consumer prices. Given the importance of these financial products, Congress needs to tread carefully as it looks at regulatory options for these markets. Over-regulation or improper regulation that might sound good politically could have major unintended negative consequences, not just for our financial markets, but for our broader economy.

The sections that remain in this bill that deal with the regulation of our derivatives markets are but one of many reasons to oppose this massive and massively-flawed piece of legislation.


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