Mr. SCHILLING. Thank you, Chairman Lucas.
I rise in support of H.R. 3336, the Small Business Credit Availability Act.
Madam Speaker, I've only been in Congress for a little over a year, but I have found the House Committee on Agriculture to be very bipartisan, and I believe that it is in large part due to the leadership of Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson.
I come to the floor today to speak in support of a bipartisan provision in the bill that is important to the American manufacturing sector--and particularly to Illinois companies like John Deere and Caterpillar, which employ almost 150,000 men and women.
Many of the manufacturers here at home have what are called ``captive finance affiliates'' whose function is to provide loans and leases to customers to purchase the goods they make. The credit that captive finance companies provide is essential to agricultural producers, construction contractors, and manufacturers, and the jobs they support here at home.
Congress provided an exemption in the current law for captive finance affiliates so that when they hedge risks associated with providing loans to their customers, they receive the same exemptions available to the parent company and other end-users. However, there is a lack of guidance in the CFTC's implementation of the exemption, leading to concern that these captive finance companies could be subject to mandatory clearing requirements or regulated as major swap participants. There is bipartisan agreement that this is not what Congress originally intended.
H.R. 3336 will provide the needed clarification for our manufacturers and their captive affiliates. It does so while also providing safeguards against abuse. First and foremost, this only applies to entities that use derivatives to manage their risks, meaning they cannot use derivatives to speculate. In addition, these entities cannot engage in financing that does not facilitate the sale of their manufactured products. The CFTC will have the authority to prevent affiliates from qualifying for this exemption.
Again, I appreciate the bipartisan nature of providing certainty on this issue. I want to thank Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Peterson, Congressman Bill Owens, Congressman Mike McIntyre, and Congressman Randy Neugebauer for their efforts on this issue. I also really want to thank the majority and minority House Ag Committee and their staff for their work on this issue, especially Ryan McKee and Clarke Ogilvie. It is important to provide certainty for our folks back home.