WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Austin Scott (GA-08), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit, today released the following statement upon the House Agriculture Committee approving legislation to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). H.R.4895 will reauthorize and improve the operations of the CFTC, as well as ensure robust markets, consumer protections, and a balanced approach to regulations impacting job creators.

“The CFTC is integral to maintaining integrity, competitiveness, and efficiency in commodity trading markets, and it is crucial we have a workable piece of legislation that addresses the regulatory challenges facing end-users and derivatives market participants. It is also crucial that we ensure the CTFC has access to modern financial tools and technologies, which is why I introduced legislation to provide more flexibility for this financial regulator to acquire and utilize emerging fintech,” said Rep. Scott. “My focus has always been to provide relief to end-users while also working to bring this agency into the 21st century, and I believe the legislation we passed today achieves those goals. I look forward to pressing my colleagues on the importance and timeliness of this reauthorization as the bill now heads to the House floor.”

“This bipartisan reauthorization provides the CFTC with the tools it needs to successfully regulate the U.S. derivatives market, safeguard consumers, and maintain strong leadership and cooperation with global regulators. We’ve included new protections for charitable organizations and church retirement plans so they will not be subjected to regulations designed for Wall Street, as well as ensuring the protection of customers’ hard-earned assets in the case of a commodity broker bankruptcy. I’m proud of the work our members have done to build this strong piece of legislation, and I look forward to its swift consideration before the House of Representatives,” said Rep. K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Included in the legislation was a provision offered by Rep. Scott to grant the CFTC two new authorities to facilitate interactions with financial technology (FinTech) companies. The first would authorize the CFTC to engage in non-standard procurement transactions and enable the CFTC to collaborate on projects with FinTech developers. The second would authorize the CFTC to receive gifts solely for research, development, and demonstration purposes, and would allow the agency to receive and use software to advance its understanding of developing financial technology.

Rep. Scott’s provision would refocus the CFTC’s research goals on understanding these innovations and developing new tools to better regulate U.S. derivatives markets. It will allow the Commission to work more closely with the FinTech industry to understand the software that they are developing, how their applications fit into the Commission’s current rules, and what new tools might be leveraged by the Commission to improve its own regulatory purposes.