As the old saying goes, every journey begins with a first step. We had a few positive and solid first – and second – steps today for derivatives end-users.
A little while ago, the House Financial Services Committee completed a markup on a number of Dodd-Frank related bills including H.R. 634, “The Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act of 2013” and H.R. 677, “Inter-Affiliate Swap Clarification Act”. H.R. 634 was reported out of committee with a unanimous 59-0 vote and the inter-affiliates bill was reported favorably with a vote 50-10. We believe that now that the relevant committees have both completed their review of these common-sense and critical bills, the House leadership will bring them to the floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
Also this afternoon, Sens. Johanns and Tester led a large bipartisan group in introducing the Senate companion to H.R. 634 (the number is not yet available). The full list of original cosponsors includes: Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE), Jon Tester (D-MT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Mark Warner (D-VA).
The Senate introduction came on the heels of a concerted effort by end-users to educate Senate offices on the realities of end-user use of derivatives trades – we use them to hedge every-day commercial risk, not for speculative purposes. Thus, end-users like the thousands of manufactures who utilize these risk-management tools shouldn’t be regulated the same was as those companies that are speculating.
We continue to work with Senate offices to get a Senate companion to H.R. 677 (the inter-affiliates bill) introduced in the near-term. So although this is certainly positive progress, we are simply nearing the beginning of the second-act which is getting the Senate to take action on both of these important and common-sense bills that will ensure that main street businesses are able to focus on growing and investing in their business and their growth.