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House Of Representatives Passes Bill To Cut Commodities Speculation


Despite a threatened presidential veto, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday to reduce speculation in commodity markets.

Supporters say the measure, sent to the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 283 to 133, would increase the transparency, oversight and anti-manipulation authority over the futures and options markets.

The bill, called the "Markets Transparency and Accountability Act," was sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. It places new reporting requirements and other limits on traders and broadens the ability of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to acquire more staff and limit the stake traders may hold in some markets.

The measure would also require foreign boards of trade to share data and place limits on speculative positions in U.S. commodities.

Before the vote, the White House sent word to Capitol Hill that President Bush is likely to veto the measure if it passes the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. The White House message noted "no verifiable evidence to conclude that oil speculators were behind the rise in oil prices."

Congress is scheduled to adjourn in less than two weeks, casting doubt over whether the Senate would have time to act on the bill.

The Agriculture Committee holds oversight jurisdiction over commodities futures trading.

Thursday's action was the second time the measure was put to a vote in the House in less than two months. The measure was defeated July 30.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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