By Peter Schroeder - 05/24/11 02:42 PM EDT
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the chair of the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee, said Monday that the proposal returns the CFTC to "pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels" and provides it with "the necessary resources to fulfill our duties."
CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler has not been shy in asking Congress to allocate more funds to his agency, telling them repeatedly in testimony that his staff and resources are dwarfed by the means of the financial sector. The CFTC is charged with regulating a derivatives market that is more than $300 trillion in size.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for their efforts to cut the budgets of the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission — two agencies charged with implementing large parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform overhaul. They contend that Republicans opposing that law are pushing paltry agency budgets as a way to stifle its implementation.
The spending package also comes as Republicans are pushing legislation in the House that would delay the implementation of new rules on derivatives for 18 months, until the end of 2012. That legislation is expected to ultimately pass the House, but struggle to gain traction in the Senate, where Democrats retain the majority.