Just as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s budget could face a $108 million drop if sequestration cuts kick in on Friday, Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee criticized the agency Tuesday for overspending on what they called “misplaced priorities,” including moving ahead with a rule to put brokers under a fiduciary mandate.
While not specifically citing budget cuts that the SEC should face, House Republicans lambasted the agency in its 19-page document, which detailed the committee’s views and estimates on the federal government’s budget for fiscal year 2014, for “repeatedly failing to fulfill any part of its mission,” in the run-up to the financial crisis and its aftermath.
House Republicans also revisited their complaints that the agency was to blame for the bailout of Bear Stearns and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and that the agency was “missing in action” in not catching the Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford Ponzi schemes.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member on the committee, said that given that President Barack Obama has yet to unveil a budget, the committee’s efforts to discuss its budget objectives are “premature and will leave unaddressed the most pressing budget challenge that face this Congress and the nation: the looming threat of sequestration” that will likely take place Friday.
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The White House’s Office of Management and Budget estimates the SEC’s $1.32 billion annual budget could be chopped by $108 million if sequestration takes place.
Just as SEC Chairwoman Elisse Walter has vowed to push the agency’s fiduciary rulemaking forward this year, House Republicans are renewing their efforts to stop the agency in its tracks.