If you don't know me, I'm Congressman Jim Himes' communications director, and I wanted to clarify a few things about the Huffington Post story mentioned above.
First, the HuffPo story is simply factually inaccurate. The Congressman's bill does not weaken derivatives legislation. It ensures that derivatives used to insure against the fluctuating price of airline fuel or crops occur in banks that are subject to heavier oversight by federal regulators. The bill does nothing to alter the margin, clearing, or transparency provisions of the derivatives regulation created by Dodd-Frank. This is not a controversial provision--in fact, the bill has bipartisan cosponsors in both the House and the Senate on both the Agriculture and Financial Services (Banking) Committees.
Some history: This bill passed the House Financial Services Committee as an amendment last year. Then Ranking Member Barney Frank and current Ranking Member Maxine Waters were both publicly supportive of the provision.
Here's what Frank wrote in the committee report:
During the Full Committee markup, Democrats [JIM HIMES] worked with the Majority to amend H.R. 1838 to continue the prohibition of complex swaps employed by AIG with devastating effect. [Himes' amendment] addresses the valid criticisms of Section 716 without weakening the financial reform law's important derivative safeguards or prohibitions on bank proprietary trading.
Additionally, I'd like to point out that the author of this story wrote the above piece without either reading the bill or asking our office for comment or clarification. It's simply irresponsible journalism.
You can read the Congressman's press release about the bill here:
Communications Director for Congressman Jim Himes