The Senate Ag Committee held a hearing Wednesday to review the nomination of Gary Gensler to be Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In his opening remarks, Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said this committee must gain assurance that the nominee before us is prepared to provide strong leadership at the CFTC and to work with this Committee to develop solutions to ensure that markets are open and transparent, free of excessive speculation, and that all trades clear. Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga, echoed Harkin's remarks.
"Many Americans are struggling during these uncertain economic times," Chambliss said. "Our nation is facing very challenging issues in trying to address the economic downturn. Many businesses, as well as the economy, depend on the commodity futures markets to help manage costs, to hedge, to avoid risk, to provide liquidity and to stay competitive. It is a time when we really need these markets to be performing at their best, to be functioning transparently and without manipulation."
Harkin challenged Gensler to be committed to repairing the abuses and mistakes of the past, and ensuring that they are never repeated.
Chamblis stressed the importance of having a Chairman and a full commission to address the financial crisis facing our nation and our markets. He asked Gensler to keep the Committee updated on the issues and how he plans to resolve them, should he be confirmed.
"You will be very busy, especially with financial regulatory reform on the Congressional agenda," said Chambliss. "I hope you will be a strong voice during this debate for the CFTC and for American jobs by working for legislation that will improve these markets, and help American businesses stay competitive, grow and create jobs."