The budget for fiscal year 2015 released by President Barack Obama Tuesday includes increased funding for two regulatory bodies tasked with policing Wall Street. Obama proposed raising funding levels for both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Training Commission by over 25 per cent. Both agencies are charged with implementing the restrictions imposed on the financial industry by the Dodd-Frank law.
Obama’s budget would increase the SEC’s budget by 26 per cent to $US1.7 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, this added funding would likely be used to hire more investigators and examiners. Since the SEC charges Wall Street firms fees, its budget has no impact on the federal deficit.
The CFTC would get an increase of 30 per cent for a total budget of $US280 million in Obama’s budget. However, this amount is lower than the $US315 million Obama proposed for the agency in last year’s budget. An unnamed administration official told the Journal this reduction was a result of spending caps imposed by the two-year budget deal.
CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton issued a statement Tuesday criticising the more moderate increase.
“I’m frustrated to say: the funding requested is insufficient to do the job,” Chilton said.
Obama proposed to pay for the additional CFTC funding with a new fee on financial firms. That plan as well as the White House’s prior budget proposal to increase CFTC funding have both previously been unable to get sufficient support in Congress. Once again, not all elements of the president’s budget will be accepted, however, it sets the stage for a bipartisan debate and the 2014 mid-term elections.
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