Senate Democrats push for budget increases for main regulators

Dick Durbin

Democrats in the U.S. Senate are pushing for a budget increase for main-market financial regulators as House Republicans push to rein in spending and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year would be increased by 50 percent to $308 million as part of a spending plan approved on Monday by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on financial services, Bloomberg reports.

The panel is also seeking a 19 percent increase in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fiscal year budget. While the Republican-led House has opposed the CFTC’s budget increase, it has approved a smaller increase in the SEC’s budget.

“The passage of the Wall Street reform bill expands responsibilities and important roles for the SEC and CFTC, and this bill provides the funding to continue this much-needed reform,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, according to Bloomberg.

Dodd-Frank opponents, however, have contested the need for budgetary increases.

“The concern we have is the overreach of Dodd-Frank,” Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said earlier this month, Bloomberg reports.

The two congressional chambers will need to come to agreement on spending measures before a final, complete bill can be sent to President Obama for approval. A House panel voted last week to reduce the CFTC’s budget by $25 million, citing concerns related to the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd.

Proponents of Dodd-Frank, however, have criticized plans to reduce the budgets of main regulators, saying that JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $2 billion-plus losses earlier last month underscore the need for increased regulation and, therefore, budgets to meet those requirements, according to Bloomberg.

Chairman of the CFTC Gary Gensler said on Monday that a sufficient budget means “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,” Bloomberg reports.