Obama To Propose Doubling SEC, CFTC Funding

Date: February 09, 2016

Boosts To Agencies’ Funding Seen As Way To Expand Dodd-Frank Regulations

As part of the fiscal 2017 budget plan he’s expected to release this week, President Obama “will ask Congress to double funding” for two key financial industry regulators — the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — over the next five years, Bloomberg News reported. By 2021, the budgets of the two agencies, which “the White House sees as integral to curbing Wall Street excesses,” would be “twice the 2015 level.” The ramp-up would begin with an 11% increase for the SEC to $1.8 billion in 2017 and a 32% increase for the CFTC to $330 million, White House National Economic Council head Jeff Zients wrote in a blog post Monday. The Washington Post, citing Zients, reported that Obama “will also seek to levy a fee on the largest financial firms on the basis of their liabilities, a measure [the administration] said would ‘reduce risk in the financial sector.’” In addition, the President will “support letting the CFTC impose fees on financial institutions,” which Zients wrote would “shift the costs of regulatory services provided by the CFTC from the taxpayer to the very firms that benefit” from the commission’s oversight. “This is a commonsense change that is long overdue,” he added. The Hill quoted Zients as calling the proposed funding increases “an effort to expand regulatory gains” from the Dodd-Frank law on Wall Street reform.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Plans to boost the budgets of two financial regulators for FY 2017 further show the aggressive regulatory agenda of the Obama administration. Though adding funding to the SEC and CFTC might not on the surface appear harmful, this latest plan is more of the same when it comes to policy initiatives put forth over the past several years that have created uncertainty for small business owners and driven up the costs of doing business.

Additional Reading

Reuters and the Wall Street Journal also covered the story.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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