U.S. House panel launches CFTC reauthorization bill

WASHINGTON, April 7 Mon Apr 7, 2014 9:27pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers on Monday launched a bill to rewrite the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's procedures and give more leeway to smaller players in the futures and swaps markets that the agency regulates.

In a so-called reauthorization bill to fine-tune the CFTC's mandate, the chairman and the highest ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee drew up a list of small changes to many of the controversial rules the agency has written.

Frank Lucas, the Republican from Oklahoma who chairs the Committee, and Collin Peterson, the ranking member from Minnesota, said they hoped the committee would adopt the bill in a hearing on Wednesday.

The CFTC needs to be reauthorized every five years, though it has in the past gone for several years without that stamp of approval. The launch of the bill is the first step of what will likely be a drawn-out process to get it through Congress. (Reporting by Douwe Miedema; Editing by Ken Wills)