House bill gives CFTC less funding than it wants

 

The Republican majority on the House Appropriations Committee released a bill Monday that gives the Commodity Futures Trading Commission $62 million less next year than President Obama requested for the agency partly responsible for implementing Wall Street reform.

The CFTC’s $218 million budget for fiscal 2015 is a $3 million increase from current funding, but the increase is targeted at information technology improvements. The White House has long argued that the CFTC needs much higher funding to implement the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, but House Republicans have refused to provide the full level of funds every year since the 2010 law passed.

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The House Agriculture Committee approved a separate CFTC authorization bill last month and that bill could see a vote as early as this month. 

The House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee for agriculture will vote on the spendng bill on Tuesday. 

The agriculture spending bill — one of 12 measures that need to pass to keep the government running after Oct. 1 — provides $20.9 billion in discretionary spending. That is the same as this year. 

“From funding rural infrastructure development to ‎implementing programs within the new Farm Bill, this year's appropriation seeks to address the needs of rural America while holding the line on government spending and regulatory over-reach,” subcommittee Chairman Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said in a statement. 

The bill includes a $93 million cut to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program that could prove controversial. The $6.6 billion in WIC funding is $200 million below the Obama budget request. 

The GOP said the WIC cut is justified by Agriculture Department estimates of enrollment in the program and it “will not prevent any eligible participant from receiving benefits,” according to a press release. 

The bill also funds farm bill programs but the contours of the farm subsidy, crop insurance and food stamp provisions are technically outside the appropriations panel’s jurisdiction. Food stamp spending rises to $82.3 billion in the bill, an increase of $81 million from the current level.