Senate Dems press court to reverse ruling on speculation caps

Nineteen Senate Democrats are urging a federal appeals court to reverse a decision they say endangers a federal effort to limit market speculation and keep gas prices in check.

The 2012 federal district court ruling essentially invalidates proposed federal regulations limiting speculation on 28 commodities, including crude oil; natural gas; and gasoline.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rampant speculation on those commodities has led to higher prices for consumers and businesses, the lawmakers argue.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, enacted in 2010, requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to impose the new limits meant to tamp down on excessive speculation. But last year’s ruling blocked the CTFC from finalizing the rule. The ruling followed a challenge from the financial industry, which argued that Dodd-Frank is ambiguous on the subject.

Led by Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinStrange bedfellows oppose the filibuster Listen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns MORE (D-Mich.), the senators filed a brief this week asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to overturn the lower court.

"Three years ago, Congress took action to clamp down on excessive speculation driving energy, metal and food prices by imposing mandatory trading limits on speculators,” Levin said in a statement. “Those measures have never taken effect due to industry legal challenges while roller coaster prices have continued to plague our economy.”

The 42-page amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief seeks to clarify Congress’ intentions.

“Dodd-Frank was designed and intended to make position limits mandatory,” a section of the brief reads, noting that the provision was based on seven years of Senate investigations into the effects of market speculation.

The other senators who signed the brief were: Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world MORE (D-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system MORE (D-Ohio), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg courts critics on Capitol Hill | Amazon makes climate pledge | Senate panel approves 0M for state election security Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers to discuss 'future internet regulation' MORE (D-Wash.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSunday shows - Trump's Ukraine call, Iran dominate Democratic senator: Pulling out of nuclear deal 'isolated the United States rather than isolating Iran' Senate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections MORE (D-Md.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein calls on Justice to push for release of Trump whistleblower report Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MORE (D-Calif.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinWisconsin lawmaker gets buzz-cut after vowing not to cut hair until sign language bill passed Democratic debates kick off Iowa summer sprint Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (D-Iowa), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinToomey on gun reform: 'Beto O'Rourke is not helping' Trump walks tightrope on gun control O'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats MORE, (D-W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-Mo.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonMedia and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 MORE (D-Fla.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersOmar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Democrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenLewandowski: House testimony shows I'd be 'a fighter' in the Senate Cruz endorses GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire Meghan McCain: Lewandowski Senate run would be 'an absolutely ridiculous crap show' MORE (D-N.H.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenUnited Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Omar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Senate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court MORE (D-R.I.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Microsoft to provide free updates for voting systems running Windows 7 through 2020 Interior watchdog investigating political appointees' review of FOIA requests MORE (D-Ore.).