March 2, 2011

Sen. Durbin Vows Fight to Stop SEC, CFTC Budget Cuts

As long-term budget deal gets underway, SEC, CFTC, CFPB budgets 'will be part of the negotiation,' Durbin says

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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, said Wednesday he would fight to stop the budget cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the House Republicans’ 2011 budget resolution, which passed on Tuesday.

“I’m going to fight to ensure House Republicans lose this fight” to cut these agencies’ budgets, “just as they lost” on trying to stop the passage of Dodd-Frank, Durbin said on a Wednesday conference call held by consumer advocate groups. “House Republicans have fought the Dodd-Frank bill every step of the way,” he said.

Under the House’s two-week budget resolution, which the Senate passed Wednesday by a vote of 91-9, the SEC would see a $231 million budget cut from what was requested under Dodd-Frank, Durbin said. The CFTC would face a $174 million budget cut, or 69%, of what was to be allotted to the agency under Dodd-Frank, he said, while the CFPB’s budget would be cut from $143 million to $80 million, a 40% drop.

The short-term funding bill would only last until March 18. In response to a question from AdvisorOne on when his “fight” would begin to ensure these agencies’ budget cuts were halted, Durbin said the House and Senate will be “meeting soon” to start the debate on a longer-term budget resolution, as there is only six months left in the current fiscal year. “All three of these agencies’ [budgets] will be part of the negotiation,” he said.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, told Reuters on Tuesday that he would “insist” on adequate funds for the SEC and CFTC as a precondition for a deal on the federal budget.

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