House Republicans Continue Effort To Undermine Wall Street Reform By Cutting Regulators’ Budgets

House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee yesterday released their 2013 budget for the nation’s financial market regulators. Under the GOP plan, both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would see their budgets finalized at levels far below President Obama’s request, with the CFTC even seeing a real reduction in dollars from its budget last year:

The House Appropriations Committee’s fiscal 2013 spending package would slash the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s annual budget by about $25 million to $180.4 million.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, meanwhile, would see its 2013 budget rise by about $50 million, to $1.37 billion from $1.32 billion, according to the Republicans’ proposal.

Both budgets are well below the targets that President Barack Obama had proposed for the SEC and CFTC, with both agencies finalizing numerous new regulations required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street oversight law.

Republicans have been making a concerted effort to undermine the Dodd-Frank financial reform law by denying regulators the funds needed to implement it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has even said, “the less we fund those agencies, the better America will be.”


But this time, the GOP’s effort comes in the wake of JP Morgan’s multibillion dollar trading debacle, which showed that Wall Street has no hesitation about going back to the sort of risky behavior that contributed to the financial crisis of 2008. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler said that “the result of the House bill is to effectively put the interests of Wall Street ahead of those of the American public.” Rep. Barny Frank (D-MA) added in a statement, “At a time when JPMorgan Chase has reported the loss of $3 billion or more in the derivatives markets, the Republicans are refusing to appropriate a small percentage of that amount to provide the protections we need against a return to financial chaos.”