Harder Legislation to Help Watchdogs Monitor Big Banks Passes Committee

October 31, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Provisions similar to Representative Josh Harder’s (CA-10) Financial Watchdog Support Act passed the House Agriculture Committee as part of a larger bill that regulates certain financial transactions. The bill is designed to help improve oversight of transactions between big banks and other institutions by improving a 2010 law that helps protect our economic system.

Click  the Link Above to Watch Rep. Harder Speak About the Bill in Committee

“We can never again let recklessness on Wall Street cost people their jobs, homes, or retirements – and my legislation will help,” said Rep. Harder. “We have a lot of important tools in the toolbox to protect our economy – and my bill helps sharpen one of the more important ones. I look forward to seeing this passed into law.”

“Josh worked hard to make sure the Financial Watchdog Support Act made it into the larger CFTC package, and we appreciate his flexibility and willingness to work to make sure the final text would receive strong bipartisan support,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. “I appreciate Josh’s commitment to working alongside both parties on the committee to protect our financial system.”

An organization called the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates all kinds of financial transactions between banks and relies on information databases called “Swap Data Repositories” (SDRs) to obtain records of financial deals. The CFTC monitors transactions including “credit default swaps,” which many economists have blamed for the unraveling of financial markets in 2008. SDRs ensure that federal regulators have the data they need to track such transactions and monitor potential risks to our economy.

Currently, database operators have to reach out to both parties involved in a transaction for duplicate sets of records. Only the seller is legally required to provide this information, meaning SDRs waste time and resources trying to track down the same records from the buyers, who are not legally required to provide such data.

Rep. Harder’s bill would eliminate the redundant requirement and free-up SDR staff to conduct other important work protecting our financial system. The final text of the bill as included in the larger package was modified from Rep. Harder’s original version to guarantee bipartisan support.