Just as investment advisors descended on Capitol Hill Wednesday to lobby for more funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission so the agency can boost the number of advisor exams, the House Appropriations Committee said it planned to keep the agency’s budget flat.
Included in the House bill released Wednesday is $1.5 billion for the SEC, which is equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level but $222 million below President Barack Obama’s budget request.
The bill is being considered by the committee on Thursday.
Neil Simon, vice president for government relations at the Investment Adviser Association in Washington, said advisors lobbied members of Congress Wednesday on ways to “make the existing regulatory scheme for advisors more effective,” including enhancing SEC oversight by boosting the agency’s budget. IAA, which has pushed for user-fees legislation to boost the number of advisor exams, “feels very strongly [examining advisors] is not a function that should be contracted out to third parties, it’s a governmental function” that should be performed by the SEC.
Simon said in early March that industry groups such as IAA continue to press for bipartisan Senate support for legislation that would allow the SEC to collect user fees from advisors to help boost their exam rate, however, “it’s just not gaining bipartisan support.”