The House Appropriations Committee is proposing a spending package that would cut the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) annual budget by about $25 million to $180.4 million which is about 41 percent lower than the administration originally requested.  However, the Fiscal Year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (the “Bill”) also authorizes an increase of $50 million to the SEC’s budget for information technology.
While the SEC’s increase may seem positive to regulators, it instead limits the use of the funds to information technology and denies its use for anything else. When asked for a comment regarding the cuts, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler stated, “[the] result of the House bill is to effectively put the interests of Wall Street ahead of those of the American public by significantly underfunding the agency Congress tasked to oversee derivatives – the same complex financial instruments that helped contribute to the most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
Whether you agree or disagree with the spending cuts it is obvious that this Bill will be at the center of political debate regarding the implementation of Dodd-Frank. The Bill’s passage in the House of Representatives still requires the Senate and President’s approval but it shows that the lines have been drawn regarding the fight for financial regulation.
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