Congressman Barney Frank today provided the following statement in response to the release by the House Appropriations Committee of two spending bills which govern funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 includes $1.371 billion for the SEC -- $195 million below the President's request. The bill mandates that $50 million of that amount be spent on information technology. Because it was expected that IT spending would come from a separate Reserve Fund, this provision means that actual shortfall below the President's request is substantially greater than $195 million. The bill does not impact funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2013, but it makes the CFPB subject to the annual Congressional appropriations process beginning in 2014, which will likely result in a dramatic decrease in funding.
The Agriculture Appropriations bill for FY 2013 includes $180 million for the Commodity Future Trading Commission -- a cut of $25 million below the FY 2012 level and $128 million below the President's request. The bill mandates that $32 million of the total be spent on information technology, further reducing the amount available for general expenditures.
Both bills will now be considered by the agriculture and the financial services subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee.
The text of Congressman Frank's statement follows:
The Republican appropriations bills defining spending levels for agencies in charge of critical financial regulations is a declaration of unilateral surrender to the forces of irresponsibility that wrecked our economy several years ago and, as we have seen from recent events, might be poised to do it again. The fact that Republican Party is lavishing money on weapons systems that the Pentagon does not want while reducing the necessary funds for the regulation of derivatives, is a textbook example of terrible priorities. At a time when JPMorgan Chase has reported the loss of $3 billion or more in the derivatives markets, the Republicans are refusing to appropriate a small percentage of that amount to provide the protections we need against a return to financial chaos.