House, Senate to Square Off Over CFTC Funding

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved an appropriation of $308 million for the CFTC for fiscal year 2013, an increase of roughly $103 million over the agency’s current budget. Under the proposal, the SEC budget would increase by $245 million to roughly $1.566 billion. The decision comes days after the subcommittee’s House counterpart released its version of the bill, which seeks to cut the CFTC’s budget by $25 million and raising the SEC’s by only $50 million.

After criticizing the House’s bill earlier in the week, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler reacted positively to the announcement. “At this funding level, the CFTC will have sufficient cops on the beat to promote swap market transparency, to lower risk to the financial system, and to help protect the American people from future bailouts of the financial industry,” Gensler said.

New oversight duties imposed on the two agencies by the Dodd-Frank Act are expected to overwhelm their capabilities if they remain at their current budget and staffing levels. Regulators have accused lawmakers who failed to block passage of the Act of trying to limit its enforcement by refusing to fund it.

Read more about the appropriation bill.

Photo credit:  cliff1066â„¢

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