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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. STABENOW. Thank you, Madam President. First I wish to thank my colleague for raising issues of great importance to all of us. Financial regulatory reform is critically important for our country moving forward. Senator Crapo and I spoke earlier about this amendment. We have a number of areas of shared concern and I have committed to work with him on these issues.

First and foremost, I agree with my friend from Idaho that we need to protect our manufacturers, our rural co-ops, energy providers, and other companies that use financial products to manage their legitimate business risks. These end users did not cause the financial crisis. So when we passed Wall Street reform, we included protections for them.

We have held several hearings in the Agriculture Committee to reinforce to the regulators that manufacturers and others need to be protected. We will continue to do that oversight.

We certainly agree that as new rules are written, we need have an open and transparent process. I believe the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has created, in fact, an open and transparent process and has worked to improve that process over time. They have held roundtables, sought public comment, and are making changes based on those comments to ensure that the new rules work. But it is important that Congress continues to work with the agencies to get these rules right. We also expect the agencies to work with each other and with their international counterparts. We need to make sure rules are robust and consistent across international borders, avoiding a regulatory race to the bottom while using ``mutual recognition'' as a guidepost. Most importantly, the agencies need to create these rules in a way that provides businesses with market certainty. To that end, we will be holding another oversight hearing in the next few weeks.

It is important that we continue to urge the regulators to be mindful of the effects that these rules will have on American businesses. It is also important to remember that we passed reform because of the serious consequences of the financial crisis. Millions of families lost their homes, countless businesses shuttered, 8 million jobs lost. We need to ensure that the rules are not written in a way that creates incentives for banks to move their operations overseas to avoid oversight--we share that concern. We definitely need to get the rules right and keep the jobs here in America.


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