The legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings MORE (D-Conn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick Sanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination MORE (D-Ohio), Ben CardinBen CardinMaking water infrastructure a priority Senators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate confirms Trump's pick for Israel ambassador MORE (D-Md.), Al FrankenAl FrankenFriends, foes spar in fight on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Lawmakers share photos of their dogs in honor of National Puppy Day Franken challenges witness endorsement of Gorsuch MORE (D-Minn.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharFCC: Over 12,000 callers couldn’t reach 911 during AT&T outage Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch MORE (D-Minn.) and Bill NelsonBill NelsonThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs FCC chairman: Whether NY Times, CNN, NBC are 'fake news' is a ‘political debate’ MORE (D-Fla.).
The senators argued that the CFTC has been “dragging its feet” in establishing
“position limits” on the amount of futures and swaps contracts for oil and other commodities that traders may hold. The limits are required under the sweeping 2010 financial reform law.
Democrats have increasingly blamed “excessive” speculation for rising gas prices to counter GOP attacks on President Obama’s energy plan.
A coalition of Democrats, 23 senators and 45 House members, urged the CFTC earlier this month to put limits on speculative trading.
“It is one of your primary duties — indeed, perhaps your most important — to ensure that the prices Americans pay for gasoline and heating oil are fair, and that the markets in which prices are discovered operate free from fraud, abuse and manipulation,” the lawmakers said in a letter.
Pump prices have risen to the top of the political agenda in Washington, D.C. Gas prices increased to a national average of $3.86 per gallon Wednesday, according to AAA — up 30 cents during the last month.
Republicans have sought to pin the blame for high gas prices on Democrats, arguing they have not done enough to expand domestic oil-and-gas production.
Energy experts say federal policymakers have limited options to lower gas prices, as they are tethered to oil prices, which are set on world markets.