Republicans demanding probe into CFTC's cost-benefit analyses

CFTC officials have cited rapidly approaching deadlines and stagnant budgets as pressure points in that effort.

However, Lucas and Conaway contend that in its "monumental" task, the CFTC is shirking one of its key duties — figuring out how much it will cost for businesses to meet the new rules.

"Ensuring the CFTC is meeting its obligations to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis of each rule it proposes is critical," they wrote.

They accuse the agency of adopting a "vague and minimalist approach to cost-benefit analysis," and call on the inspector general to probe the CFTC's practices, and how accurate its cost estimates are.

In particular, the probe should examine what practices the CFTC has in place for cost-benefit analysis, what special considerations are given to small businesses, and whether the agency has sought outside expertise in that effort.

"As the CFTC engages in rulemaking to implement a regulatory regime that fosters transparency and promotes the mitigation of systemic risk, it is essential that it do so deliberately and carefully without burdening the economy and market participants with unnecessary and unjustified costs," they wrote, demanding answers by April 15.