Over July 14 and 15, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered his Semi-Annual Reports to Congress in hearings before the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees. In the House, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) questioned Chair Powell on the transition away from LIBOR, saying: “You have been very committed in your support, as well as other financial regulators for completing the conversion away from LIBOR-based interest rate benchmarks. It’s absolutely essential, to provide certainty for those tough legacy LIBOR contracts—you have expressed that in the past.” Rep. Huizenga went on to express concerns that the Fed had changed its views before the committee on whether SOFR should be imposed on every institution as a one-size-fits-all solution. Chair Powell noted the use of SOFR should be voluntary and supported the use of other rate benchmarks, but added that it would be appropriate to have SOFR in federal legislation to address outstanding tough legacy contracts. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) continued to discuss the importance of federal legislation to help the transition of tough legacy contracts away from LIBOR. He clarified that it is “not the purpose of the federal government to impose SOFR on any institution, anywhere in the country. The focus here is not to force anything on anybody if they draft an instrument that specifies what they want…but if they have an instrument from which no one can determine the amount of interest to be paid, we need to provide that answer. We have to do it in a way that we are not indicating that SOFR is the standard to be used in instruments going forward.” In the upper chamber, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) asked if Chair Powell stood by Ameribor as a reasonable choice for regional and community institutions. Powell replied that they do not like to ‘bless’ individual rates, but would say that market participants have the freedom to choose the rates they want.