Leaders on the Senate Agriculture Committee have called on stakeholders and the public to make recommendations and provide input on the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

During a recent CFTC oversight hearing Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, committee chairwoman, and Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, ranking member, saidthat they will begin work on reauthorization, with the process being open, bipartisan and consensus-driven.

Stabenow and Cochran wrote in the March 5 letter to stakeholders, “This year’s reauthorization comes at an important, but challenging time. Domestic regulators like the CFTC continue to implement the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and work to harmonize that legislation globally. Also, these markets are evolving rapidly and face extraordinary regulatory and market pressures. The unacceptable failure of companies like MF Global has raised questions about how better to protect customers. These are issues that we are prepared to grapple with in the coming year.” 

The full letter reads:

“Dear Stakeholder:

“The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246, reauthorized the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate futures, swaps, and options markets pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq., for each of the fiscalyears 2008 through 2013. This reauthorization occurs periodically and is an important opportunity for the Agriculture Committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the CEA and the CFTC’s oversight of these markets.

“This year’s reauthorization comes at an important, but challenging time.  Domestic regulators like the CFTC continue to implement the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203, and work to harmonize that legislation globally.Also, these markets are evolving rapidly and face extraordinary regulatory and market pressures.The unacceptable failure of companies like MF Global has raised questions about howbetter to protect customers. These are issues that we are prepared to grapple with in the coming year.

“As Chair and Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee, we will make this process an open, bipartisan one.While we have not predetermined any actions or legislative text, we believe that it is important to have conversations about a broad range of CFTC-related issues including market oversight, agency oversight and resources, and statutory authorities.

“To this end, we would like your input on these issues andrequest that you provide this committee, in writing, any recommendations related to reauthorization that you would like us to consider by May 1, 2013. These suggestions will be made public and will be part of an ongoing dialogue about how best to address the challenges in the futures, swaps, and options markets.Please submit any recommendations to cftcreauthorization@ag.senate.gov. If you have any questions, please contact our office at (202) 224-2035.”