As state securities regulators gathered at their annual public policy conference in Washington on Monday, the threat of a government shutdown looked imminent.
While state securities regulators’ topic of focus was largely the Dodd-Frank Act, state securities regulators also voiced their concern about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) funding shortfall, which is tied up in the federal budget discussion.
David Massey (right), president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), said at the conference that work concerning Dodd-Frank was “far from over.” NASAA’s goal was to “make sure investor protection issues will not be weakened due to funding constraints.”
Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, and a long-time observer of Congress and politics who also writes a weekly column for Roll Call and is an election analyst for CBS News, said during his luncheon address at the NASAA event that Congress was again grappling with yet another Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government. He said we were “teetering at the edge of a government shutdown.” In fact, he predicted, there would be “at least one shutdown, and possibly more than one.”
The current CR that Congress agreed to would fund the government until April 8.
Sen. Tom Harkin (left), D-Iowa, chairman of the Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, predicted in March that because Congress is so “tied in knots” over the budget, that a government shutdown was likely in the offing. Harkin told AdvisorOne that he’d like to see a CR “at last year’s level” to fund the government until year-end, so lawmakers can focus on crafting “a budget for next year.”