The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the agency responsible for regulating commodity markets - markets used by farmers and ranchers, as well as small business and global firms. Commodities traded in these markets include traditional agricultural crops including wheat, corn, soybeans, and sugar as well as non-farm commodities like oil, gas, silver, gold, and financial instruments.
From time to time, Congress reauthorizes the CFTC, which is the process used to update an agency’s authorities and recommended spending levels. The last time this happened was in 2008. Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran have begun the process of once again revisiting the laws governing the CFTC and considering updates to them. As a part of this process, the Agriculture Committee will hold a number of public hearings on a range of issues that are of importance to the CFTC and the markets, inviting witnesses to share testimony on how to strengthen our current laws to ensure that markets are operating as intended and market users (like farmers, ranchers and small businesses) are protected from fraud, manipulation and abusive practices.
To ensure that the this process is open, transparent and bipartisan, Senators Stabenow and Cochran called on the public in March of this year to provide input on how to strengthen and improve current laws. Within a month, the Agriculture Committee received several dozen letters from various groups with recommendations. To make sure that these letters are part of the ongoing dialogue, they are made public below.