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Ag Committee Holds Hearing on Wall Street Reform

Ag Committee Holds Hearing on Wall Street Reform

Lucas says businesses across the country need to be prepared for new regulations and related costs.

The House Agriculture Committee held the seventh in a series of hearings Wednesday to review proposed amendments to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., told those gathered that with unemployment stuck at 9% he was not willing to just stand by and "keep his fingers crossed" that the flaws in the proposed rules will be fixed.

"We're facing widespread and potentially severe unintended consequences from these regulations and that will potentially have a dire effect on our economic recovery," Lucas said. "When the rules are final, let's face it, they're final, and businesses across the country, including farmers and ranchers need to prepare for the new regulations and related costs now. They will not be able to wait for Congress to act."

The Agriculture Committee considered three discussion drafts, which Lucas said were aimed at making sure that an overly broad swap dealer definition doesn't encumber our energy and agriculture sectors, that our pensions and government entities do not face prohibitive burdens when accessing swaps markets, and that small financial institutions and farm credit banks can continue to pair credit with risk mitigating tools.

"All of these proposals aim to keep capital in the hands of business that we need to lead our economic recovery," Lucas said.

Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., told the committee that while these bills are focused on issues he is concerned about he's not sure they are going to fix them. He says that the committee needs to be very careful about what action is taken.

"I don't think any of this stuff is going to happen in the Senate," Peterson said. "So I would encourage the committee to take a step back, take a look at the big picture, and get everybody in the room that's involved with this. As I've said from the start if there is a way to fix some of these problems that is within our jurisdiction and we can actually get done, I'm all for it. But frankly in a lot of cases I think some of these bills will do more harm than good."
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