Close Close

Retirement Planning > Social Security > Social Security Funding

Senate Passes Spending Bill; SEC Gets $1.6 Billion

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The Securities and Exchange Commission received $1.6 billion for fiscal 2018 under the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that was released by the House late Wednesday, mimicking the essentially flat $1.6 billion budget the securities regulator has been given since 2016.

The SEC’s fiscal 2018 budget allocation increases funding for information technology over the FY2017 level by not less than $45 million, and provides an additional $244 million for costs associated with relocating the SEC’s Washington headquarters.

The SEC requested on Feb. 12 a $1.66 billion budget for fiscal year 2019, a 3.5% increase over the agency’s 2018 request, which would allow the securities regulator to restore 100 positions lost during the 2017 hiring freeze.

The House passed the 2,232-page spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, by a 256-167 vote on Thursday afternoon. It will fund the government through Sept. 30.

The Senate passed the bill later that day by a 65-32 vote. The measure now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The legislation increases spending across domestic and defense programs by $143 billion over FY2017, with $2.9 billion being provided for border security programs, including $1.3 billion for border security technologies and $641 million for border wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, meanwhile, saw its budget cut from the requested $281 million to $248 million.

The Internal Revenue Service was given $11.4 billion in FY2018, of which $320 million must be used to implement tax reform.

Other Provisions

The bill continues language that prohibits the IRS from finalizing any regulation related to the standards used to determine the tax-exempt status of a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst, noted that the boost to the available leverage for business development companies was “bit of surprise” addition to the spending package.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, also welcomed the addition of H.R. 4267, the Small Business Credit Availability Act, which would amend Securities and Exchange Commission regulation of business development companies (BDCs) “for the first time since the 1980s by streamlining the offering, filing and registration processes to eliminate significant regulatory burdens and increase a BDC’s ability to deploy capital to small- and middle-market companies.”

The increase in leverage for BDCs, Mills said, “could have a positive benefits to earnings of the BDCs, though we believe incremental investments from a typical BDC are likely to be higher credit quality, lower coupon type loans and only have a modest incremental impact to BDC earnings.”

Notable exclusions from the spending bill, Mills pointed out, included “health insurance market stabilization measures, immigration fixes, changes to Medicare Part D drug coverage, and a national online sales tax.”

— Check out 4 Tax Planning Opportunities Under New Itemized Deduction Rules: Friedman on ThinkAdvisor.