SEC, CFTC Funding Boost Dies With Senate Spending Bill

Dec 20 2010 | 10:03am ET

It seems increasingly likely that two major U.S. regulators will have to try to implement the country’s new financial regulations without any additional funding after Senate Democrats abandoned efforts to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill last week.

The measure included some $200 million in new funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and more than $100 million in new money for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The former would represent an 18% increase and the latter a 69% boost.

Both agencies have received greater powers and been charged with greater oversight by the Dodd-Frank law. The new money was to be used to hire hundreds of new staffers to help the already-overstretched regulators cope with the load, as well as for technology upgrades.

The failure could leave both agencies working with their 2010 budgets in 2011. The SEC received $1.1 billion in funding this year and the CFTC $169 million.

It seems unlikely that the agencies will do nearly as well next year as they would have under the failed measure. Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives next month, and the party has been sharply critical of Dodd-Frank, which was approved with almost no Republican support.

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