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Senate panel votes to give more than $1 billion to financial market regulators

Dick DurbinThe Senate Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee approved a bill on Wednesday that would give U.S. financial market regulators a massive boost to their fiscal 2012 budgets.

The bill complies with President Obama’s request to provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with $1.407 billion for the next fiscal year, which is nearly a 19 percent increase to the SEC’s budget last year, according to Reuters.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission received a substantial budget increase of $240 million in the bill, which is also roughly 19 percent higher than its previous budget.

The bills are included in a $21.7 billion financial services spending package that also funds federal courts and a variety of related agencies, including the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration.
The money used on the increase for the regulators will come from cuts in the Internal Revenue Service’s budget, according to Reuters.

"My top priority again this year is to continue to address the resource needs of two of our nation's premier financial regulatory agencies," Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the subcommittee’s chair, said, according to Reuters. "As a result of the historic enactment of the comprehensive Dodd-Frank Act last year, these two agencies acquired substantially expanded responsibilities."

The proposal will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

Senate Republicans remain reluctant to provide additional funding for the financial regulating agencies who they feel have become too powerful with last year’s Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.

House appropriators, controlled by Republicans, have refused Obama’s request for increased spending levels for the SEC and CFTC.

Durbin acknowledged that the funding levels for these agencies remain a big unknown, according to Reuters.

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