With passage of the Consumer Protection and End User Relief Act (H.R. 4413) on Tuesday (June 24), the House has authorized the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through 2018. Forty-six Democrats joined with 219 Republicans to pass the legislation.

The Senate is yet to introduce companion legislation.

Text of the legislation.

"I am pleased to have the support of my colleagues on a bill that touches nearly every part of the economy,” said Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, after the vote. “This legislation reauthorizes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through 2018 and ensures that the agency is working in the most efficient and effective way. It also cements key protections into law for futures customers, such as our nation’s farmers and ranchers, and reduces the regulatory load on end-users who represent 94 percent of American job creators. I am hopeful that the Senate will take up this wide-ranging, bipartisan bill in a timely fashion so market participants have the certainty they deserve.”

Citing fears that the House approach would tamp down oversight of huge market players and lead to a replay of the 2008 economic nosedive, not all were as excited about the legislation. Prior to the vote the White House warned the House legislation would keep the CFTC from performing its duties properly.

“I’m pleased to see the House bill includes measures related to customer protections as well as important considerations for end users like farmers, ranchers and small businesses who rely on the markets to hedge risk,” said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “These are areas where we can certainly work together.

“However, we have 21st century markets and we need a 21st century regulator to match. We must make sure the agency responsible for protecting these markets has the resources, authority, staff and technology it needs to be effective -- especially in the wake of the 2008 global financial collapse which left eight million Americans without jobs and devastated hard working families across the country. It is disappointing that the bill provides no additional funding mechanism and adds new layers of administrative burdens, hindering the agency’s ability to do its job and effectively regulate these markets.

“As I’ve said before, the Senate will examine lessons from the past and consider ongoing challenges to the system as we write our bill. We have an important opportunity for market reform, to restore faith in the markets and help ensure they are transparent and functioning as intended -- and we intend on doing that in a collaborative and bipartisan way.”