WASHINGTON -- The House plans to vote as early as Wednesday on legislation that would revamp the laws on swaps and futures contracts.
The bill, among other things, would prevent the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from regulating private swaps agreements between banks and large businesses or wealthy individuals. However, House Republican leaders and other negotiators decided over the weekend to exclude provisions that would have protected a broader range of bank-executed swaps with smaller corporate or retail counterparties.
Some banks have sought these wider protections, which were supported by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm and House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach.
It also would exclude other language sought by Sen. Gramm and others that would have barred the Securities and Exchange Commission from regulating swaps, too.
Observers have said that Sen. Gramms opposition could doom it in the Senate. A spokeswoman said Monday that the Texas Republican still had to study the latest House version before passing final judgment. What we have heard is not good news, but the chairman wants the staff to take a good, hard look at [it].
A spokesman for Rep. Leach said that he would support whichever version House leaders bring to a vote, but would work to broaden it as it moves farther in the legislative process.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar said late last week that the prospects for enactment were grim with as little as a week left before lawmakers adjourn for the year.