Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee rejected, 25-17, an amendment introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., that called for approving President Barack Obama’s proposed budget increase for the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2013.
The Obama administration’s budget request for next year includes boosting the SEC’s budget to $1.566 billion, which is an 18.5% increase over the SEC’s 2012 appropriation.
Frank (left), ranking member on the committee, inserted his amendment during markup of the Budget Views and Estimates bill on Tuesday, but Republican members of the committee voted against the amendment, citing the recent financial scandals as evidence that the SEC has done an inadequate job and thus doesn’t deserve the boost in funding.
Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., said during the markup that “according to you [Republican members], the SEC wasn’t proficient and according to us [Democratic members], they didn’t have the resources to be proficient … but you don’t make an agency more proficient by starving it.”
Republican members of the committee also complained that the SEC continues to spend time and resources on “nonmandatory rulemakings, such as the imposition of a fiduciary-like standard of care for broker-dealers.” They cited comments from former SEC Commissioner Kathleen Casey and current Commissioner Troy Paredes that the SEC staff had failed “to adequately justify its recommendation that the commission embark on fundamentally changing the regulatory regime for broker-dealers and investment advisors.”