Securities Regulation Daily Unlike House, Senate approves bill that meets SEC and CFTC budget requests
Friday, June 22, 2018

Unlike House, Senate approves bill that meets SEC and CFTC budget requests

By John Filar Atwood

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a financial services funding bill that includes $1.695 billion for the SEC, which matches its fiscal 2018 budget request, and $281.5 million for the CFTC, which is equal to its fiscal 2019 request. The House version of the bill, which advanced through the committee stage in May, included $1.66 billion for the SEC and $255 million for the CFTC.

The Senate Appropriations Committee said in a news release that its measure provides $16 million above the fiscal 2018 enacted level to fund the SEC, the CFTC, the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, and several other independent agencies.

SEC allocation. With regard to the allocation for the SEC, the committee said that it includes $37 million for the potential relocation of the agency’s New York Regional Office. The bill also provides targeted funding for economic analysis within the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.

The funding for the CFTC includes increased funding to boost the CFTC’s analytical expertise and cybersecurity capabilities. The committee also hopes the CFTC will spend the funds on financial technology to maximize the Commission’s ability to oversee the nation’s swaps, futures, and options markets.

Giancarlo remarks. CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo thanked the Senate committee for fully supporting the agency’s funding request. He said that the funding bill recognizes the need for the CFTC’s skilled regulatory oversight and enables the Commission to fulfill its mission of balancing the market health and safety of the premier price discovery and risk hedging markets for global commodities and financial instruments

House bill. In the House version of the funding bill, the Appropriations Committee acknowledged that its SEC allocation was $201 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. The committee explained the difference by citing last year’s one-time costs associated with GSA lease renewals.

The House bill also contains certain policy provisions and reporting requirements which the committee felt would improve transparency and stop overly burdensome regulation. Among the provisions is a prohibition on the SEC requiring the disclosure of political contributions in Commission filings.

While the House’s funding of the CFTC was lower than the agency had requested, the Appropriations Committee noted that it is still $6 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. The committee claimed that the increase over fiscal 2018 would support cybersecurity initiatives, financial technology, and systemic risk examinations.

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