03.13.19

Chairman Roberts Holds CFTC Chair Nomination Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today held a hearing on the nomination of Dr. Heath Tarbert to be Chairman and a Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“While it was not the farmer, rancher, rural cooperative or electric utility who contributed to the financial crisis of 2008, it is often these folks who shoulder the heaviest burden when regulators write and implement rules,” said Chairman Roberts.

“Today, this Committee will hear from a nominee who is no stranger to public service. His experience clearly shows he has an appreciation of what led to the financial crisis ten years ago. And, he understands how these markets are impacted by actions taken by Congress and U.S. federal regulators as well as our legislative and regulatory partners around the world.”   

To watch the hearing and read testimony, click here.

Click here to watch Chairman Roberts’ opening statement. Below are Chairman Roberts’ remarks as prepared for delivery:

I call this hearing of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee to order.

Today, we consider the nomination of Dr. Heath Tarbert, to serve as Chairman and a Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

It was a pleasure to meet with you earlier this week, and I thank you for appearing before the Committee today. I recognize you have quite a few members of your family in the audience today including your wife, two sons, mother, mother-in- law, and brother. Welcome to the Ag Committee.

Before delivering an opening statement, I ask that a letter of support for our nominee, from 25 agricultural groups, be included in the record.

In the letter, the groups voice strong support and appreciation for Dr. Tarbert’s experience in the financial sector, the effort he has demonstrated to understand their priority issues, and his commitment to visiting agricultural operations as a way to reinforce the importance of these markets to farmers, ranchers, growers and agribusinesses.

As I’ve noted before, the CFTC is charged with fostering open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets, while working to prevent systemic risk. Further, the Commission is tasked with protecting market users and their funds, consumers, and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to derivatives and other products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act.

The regulation and oversight provided by the CFTC allows end-users – farmers, ranchers, commercial companies, municipalities, energy companies, pension funds, and others – to hedge commercial risk using the derivatives market. These markets allow companies to generate jobs and produce goods and services for our economy.

While it was not the farmer, rancher, rural cooperative or electric utility who contributed to the financial crisis of 2008, it is often these folks who shoulder the heaviest burden when regulators write and implement rules.

Today, this Committee will hear from a nominee who is no stranger to public service. His experience clearly shows he has an appreciation of what led to the financial crisis ten years ago. And, he understands how these markets are impacted by actions taken by Congress and U.S. federal regulators as well as our legislative and regulatory partners around the world.

As the current Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the Department of Treasury, this nominee has exactly the right experience, at the right time, to lead the CFTC as the world awaits important decisions throughout Europe on how regulators will treat U.S. interests and other market participants operating across that continent.

Current CFTC Chairman, Chris Giancarlo has done a great job advocating U.S. interests and the importance of equivalency, and there is no doubt this nominee is prepared to continue this legacy when confirmed.

Dr. Tarbert, our meeting earlier this week shed light on your policy positions regarding immediate, specific, high-profile issues such as Brexit. And, you highlighted views on issues important to agricultural end users, such as position limits.

Again, I thank you, Doctor, for being here today, and I look forward to your testimony. 

I now turn to my colleague, Ranking Member Stabenow, for her opening remarks.  

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