House rejects CFTC funding shift

The House on Wednesday defeated a proposal to allow the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to spend more money on regulatory efforts and less on information technology.

Rejected 194-227, Rep. Rosa DeLauro's (D-Conn.) amendment to the 2015 Agriculture appropriations bill would reduce the funds set aside for the CFTC's information technology account from $52.5 million to $35 million.

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DeLauro argued the current funding level for the agency "purposely sets the Commodity Futures Trading Commission up for failure." The Connecticut Democrat said that reducing the IT budget would allow the CFTC to use the funds elsewhere, such as hiring staff to implement regulations.

"By returning this set-aside to $35 million, our amendment gives the the commission more flexibility to spend the budget they have on enforcement," DeLauro said. "This amendment merely lets them use their budget to do their jobs."

But Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Agriculture subcommittee, argued the CFTC relied too much on physical paperwork and needed to boost its IT abilities. He said DeLauro's amendment would ultimately lead to more CFTC regulations.

"This amendment would only accomplish one objective, to grow the size of our government bureaucracy by hiring more personnel to write rules and regulations," Aderholt said. 

Passage of the 2015 Agriculture appropriations bill is expected Thursday.