A bill sponsored by 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren and aimed at helping farmers cope with economic hardships has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Hosue voted 292-122 last week to pass HR 992, the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, that would amend the Dodd-Frank Act.
Hultgren says the purpose of the bill is to ensure that entities that rely on certain types of swaps to persevere during uncertain times would continue to have affordable and stable access to these essential financial products.
“When times get tough for farmers and manufacturers — when oil prices spike or corn prices plummet — they rely on financial products like swaps to weather the uncertainty. In its rush to address the financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank Act unfortunately spun off these swaps — products that farmers, manufacturers and hospitals rely on to hedge against skyrocketing energy prices, for instance — into less transparent and less stable entities,” said Rep. Hultgren.
“Main Street customers rely on their long-standing relationships with trusted financial institutions. The short-sightedness of Dodd-Frank broke those trusted relationships and limited Main Street customers’ access to products that help them handle risk.
"New Dodd-Frank regulations that supposedly targeted Wall Street have the unintended consequence of limiting the options of farmers and manufacturers, potentially raising costs and forcing them to move their business to unfamiliar and less stable institutions.
“Manufacturers and farmers should have reliable and affordable access to the financial products they rely on to deal with market volatility. H.R. 992 will give these Main Street customers a fuller range of services from their banks that allow them to face the future with confidence. Let’s cut the red tape and allow Americans to plan ahead in these uncertain times.
"I am pleased the House voted in a bipartisan manner to pass this bill on behalf of Main Street and look forward to quick action in the Senate.”
Among other groups, H.R. 992 is supported by the Illinois Bankers Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. In a letter, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Vice President Todd Maisch wrote:
“H.R. 992 [is] a bipartisan bill that will help promote bank safety and soundness, limit the risks and costs associated with bank failure, and reduce Illinois businesses and agriculture producers cost of managing risk.”
Chairman Marty Davis and President and CEO Linda Koch of the Illinois Bankers Association agreed:
“The IBA strongly supports this legislation. It will help Illinois businesses and agricultural producers by reducing the costs of managing their financial and business risks, while still preventing U.S. banks from engaging in the riskiest types of derivatives activities. We believe that the legislation promotes safety and soundness in our banking system while sensibly limiting the risks and costs associated with potential bank failures.”
SOURCE: Randy Hulgren press release
Randy Hultgren is opposed by Democrat Dennis Anderson in the 2014 congressional race. For an opposing point of view, visit Anderson's Facebook page.