This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have increased funding by $11.8 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which is the federal agency that regulates futures markets. (Futures markets are markets based on speculation on the future prices of goods.) A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion to recommit was offered to legislation providing annual funding for Agriculture Department programs.
Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) urged support for this motion to recommit: “The CFTC is like the sheriffs in town who protect us from the Wild West of oil speculators. Now if Republicans had their way, they would send these sheriffs packing, let the speculators drive up our gas prices and run wild, just shooting around town. But those who support my final amendment to the bill see it differently. We like law and order. We like it when people play by the rules. And we like having sheriffs around to make sure someone is keeping an eye on these speculators on behalf of our consumers….Today oil is trading at about $100 a barrel. In my district, my constituents are paying over $4 a gallon just to fill up, and that's for regular. The price of diesel is really, really hurting my farmers, who pay a quarter more for every gallon. You know, the worst part is that none of this is new for western New York. A few years ago, my region had the highest gas prices in America--not high prices, the highest. Even today, the village of Arcade, a tiny village in a farming community in Wyoming County, is listed as having among the highest gas prices in the nation.”
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) opposed the motion to recommit: “To date, the CFTC staff has been unable to find any reliable economic analysis to support the contention that excessive speculation is affecting the markets we regulate, or that position limits will prevent excessive speculation. The price volatility exists in our markets because of global supply and demand for physical commodities. Now, why are the Democrats trying to get us bogged down in that the price of oil is going up because of speculation? Well, I can tell you. Go back to January 2009, and ask your constituents if they remember paying a 1.83 per gallon. And in that same month, who became president of the United States but President Obama, the Democrat. The change you were asking for, the change we were promised was that gas went from $1.83 per gallon to now $3.80, a 90 percent increase. And the Democrats want us to believe it's because of speculators. You know why it's gone up? Because of more regulation, less permitting, more delays and more lawsuits.”
The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 185-233. Voting “yea” were 184 Democrats and 1 Republican. 233 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have increased funding by $11.8 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.