Budget bill cutting SEC funding moves to House for vote

Jose Serrano

A 2013 budget bill limiting a $200 million fund increase for the Securities and Exchange Commission is headed to the House floor for a vote.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 20-28 on Wednesday against Rep. Jose Serrano’s (D-N.Y.) amendment to add $195 million to the SEC budget, The Hill reports.

The budget bill would extend extra funding to the SEC overall, though the bill does stipulate that funding is designated for technology spending only. The bill further prohibits the SEC from using funds from its reserve fund to implement Dodd-Frank rules.

Serrano said that underfunding the SEC prevents the agency from being a “strong cop on the beat” and that there is a pattern of underfunding “the very entities that help our government obtain revenue, protect Americans from abusive practices and ensure a fair playing field for all,” according to The Hill.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), however, countered that the SEC should better utilize its existing resources.

“The SEC’s problems are not due to lack of funding,” Emerson said, adding that the agency often does not hold its employees to accountability, The Hill reports. “It is ironic that the agency charged with increasing transparency into financial institutions is so resistant to working with this committee.”

The bill also allocates the same level of funding to the Internal Revenue Service as in the 2012 fiscal year.

The bill comes in $2 billion short of President Obama’s budget request and would also reassign the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under appropriation oversight and remove the Federal Reserve as its independent funding source.

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