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Ranking Member Boozman’s Opening Statement at Hearing to Consider CFTC Commissioner Nominations

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, released the following opening remarks, as prepared, from the hearing to consider the nominations of Christy Goldsmith Romero, Kristen Johnson, Summer Mersinger and Caroline Pham to serve as commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Good morning. I am pleased to join the chairwoman today in welcoming each of our nominees to the committee as we consider their nominations to be commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

I congratulate you all on your nomination, and your willingness to serve our country. The four of you bring diverse experiences and a broad range of knowledge that will add value to the commission. It’s certainly worth repeating that today’s hearing is historic in that not only are we considering four highly qualified nominees, but four highly qualified female nominees – which is something we should all be proud of. I commend and congratulate all of you on this achievement.

If confirmed, each of our nominees will help set the tone and direction of a vital agency that regulates a wide range of financial products that are essential tools used by end users like farmers, ranchers, municipalities and pension funds to hedge commercial risk.

Beyond legacy commodity contracts that market participants have used for centuries to manage risk, these markets have also grown to include derivative contracts on interest rates, stock indexes, foreign currency and even digital assets, like Bitcoin futures.

The CFTC also has authority to bring enforcement actions in cases of fraud and manipulation in commodity cash markets.

While digital assets and distributed ledger technology are revolutionizing financial transactions and the way people manage their money, questions remain as to the proper role federal regulators should play in encouraging further innovation in digital assets while ensuring market participants are protected. Our nominees will play a pivotal role as Congress, with input from stakeholders, consumers and industry navigate a path forward.

To each nominee, I look forward to hearing your goals and visions for what you hope to accomplish at the CFTC should you be confirmed, particularly as it pertains to engaging with other financial regulators and providing guidance to Congress regarding what, if any, expanded role regulators should have over digital asset commodity spot markets as we debate the guardrails that could be implemented.

Like any agency, I believe the CFTC functions best when it is fully operational and with a full slate of commissioners. I am glad we can hold this hearing today and I look forward to getting you all in place soon, so that we can ensure the markets you regulate continue to operate effectively, and in a fair and transparent manner.

With that, I yield back.