House Republican Budget Cuts Could Force Markets Watchdog To Lay Off 8 Percent Of Its Staff

Last week, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee released a bill that would provide far less funding to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission than the Obama administration requested for 2012. The CFTC — which polices the nation’s commodities markets, including the oil market — was given broad new responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, so the stingy budget offered by the House GOP may force the agency to lay off up to 60 workers, which is 8 percent of its workforce. “Right now, the math doesn’t work,” Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, told Politico. “Instead of powering up to meet a mandate from Congress, we could be powering down.”