President Obama will ask – again – for more money for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, two key watchdogs for the financial system.
As part of the budget to be released Tuesday, the president will ask Congress to boost regulatory oversight by increasing SEC funding by 11 percent and CFTC funding by 32 percent in fiscal 2017. And in his final budget, Obama will also ask Congress to commit to doubling the agencies’ budgets by the fiscal year 2021, which begins three and a half years after Obama leaves office.
The administration made a similar request last year, arguing that the agencies’ burden had increased in the wake of the financial crisis and after the adoption of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.
The president’s budget will also seek to levy a fee on the largest financial firms on the basis of their liabilities, a measure it said would “reduce risk in the financial sector.”
Obama will also support letting the CFTC impose fees on financial institutions, which Jeffrey Zients, director of the president’s National Economic Council, said in a statement would “shift the costs of regulatory services provided by the CFTC from the taxpayer to the very firms that benefit from the CFTC’s oversight. This is a commonsense change that is long overdue.” At the same time, the administration will oppose congressional efforts to restrict funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The president will ask for $1.8 billion for the SEC and $330 million for the CFTC in fiscal 2017.
But the president has run into strong opposition from Republicans.
“Our Nation’s financial regulators must be able to supervise and regulate Wall Street, and doing so requires resources. For years, Congress has fallen short when it comes to providing the appropriate resources to the agencies tasked with keeping investors, markets, and consumers safe,” Zients said.