Two of the U.S.’s top regulators—already crying poverty prior to receiving new powers and oversight mandates earlier this year—will have to make do without any more money for the new two-and-a-half months. At least.
Congress on Tuesday passed a stop-gap funding measure to keep the federal government up and running through March 4, but without the big increases Democrats had sought for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Both have been charged by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform bill with many more responsibilities than before; the SEC alone must write more than 100 new rules and has said it needs more staffers and resources to do the job.
The Dodd-Frank bill had envisioned doubling the SEC’s budget by 2015.
“Operating under the continuing resolution is already forcing the agency to delay or cut back enforcement and market oversight efforts,” SEC spokesman John Nester said. “The longer we operate under significant budgetary restrictions, the greater the impact.”
“Current funding is far less than what is required to properly fulfill our significantly expanded role,” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told a Congressional committee earlier this month.
While this week’s deal is temporary, it is unclear that a permanent budget bill will favor either agency. Republicans—who voted nearly unanimously against the Dodd-Frank law—are to take control of the House of Representatives next month and it is unclear that they will be willing to boost the regulators’ budgets.