The heads of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) went before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services on Wednesday, April 28, to justify their need for, and explain the use of, the double-digit budget increases that President Obama is seeking for each agency for the next fiscal year.

The President is requesting a total of $1.258 billion for the SEC in FY 2011, a 12% increase over the FY 2010 funding level. If enacted, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said this would permit the SEC “to hire an additional 374 professionals, a 10% increase over FY 2010. That would bring the total number of staff to about 4,200. The request also will permit us to continue expanding our investments in surveillance, risk analysis, and other technology, as well as in better training for SEC staff.”

Of the total SEC budget request, she continued, “$24 million would be contingent upon the enactment of financial reform–so that if reform is passed, we would have the resources to begin implementing our enhanced authorities.” Also important to note, Schapiro said, is that the proposed increase in spending would be fully offset by the fees the SEC collects on transactions and registrations. “In FY 2011, we estimate that we will collect $1.7 billion–an increase of $220 million over FY 2010.”

In his testimony, Gary Gensler, chairman of the CFTC, said that both the SEC and CFTC would need additional funds for derivatives oversight. He said CFTC would need to hire an additional 238 staff to “get started” on derivatives oversight, adding that the President’s budget would fund half of the 238 new employees. Gensler noted that while he could not quantify the number of transactions in the derivatives market, the market itself totals $600 trillion, half of which is in the United States.