Trump nominates Behnam as CFTC commissioner
July 14, 2017
The White House announced that President Donald Trump had sent to the Senate the nomination of Rostin "Russ" Behnam to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Benham, a Democrat who has worked for Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., if confirmed will fulfill a term expiring June 19, 2021 left by Mark Wetjen, a commissioner who resigned.
According to a biography for the 2016 Animal Biotech Summit at which Behnam spoke, he serves as senior counsel to Stabenow on the Agriculture committee. Since joining the committee in May 2011, he has been an adviser to Stabenow on all policy and legislative issues regarding agricultural biotechnology and crop protection issues, the CFTC, and executive nominations.
During the 2014 farm bill debate, Benham acted as legal counsel for the research, rural development, and forestry titles of the bill.
Before joining the Senate Agriculture Committee, he practiced law in New York City. A New Jerseyan, he received a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.
In a statement, Stabenow said, "Russ Behnam has a wide range of experience that would make him an excellent CFTC commissioner. Over the past several years I have known Russ, he has proven to be knowledgeable and judicious, especially through his work on the implementation of Dodd-Frank."
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"I look forward to proceeding with his confirmation. It is essential that the CFTC has strong leadership to ensure our financial markets are working for farmers, businesses, and consumers."
Trump has also nominated Republicans Brian Quintenz and Dawn Stump for the commission, and Commissioner Christopher Giancarlo's nomination as chairman is pending.
The only other current commissioner, Sharon Bowen, has announced plans to step down. A full commission is composed of five members.