Senate advances bill funding Dodd-Frank financial reforms


Senate appropriators on Tuesday voted to advance a 2013 spending bill that funds the implementation of the President Obama’s financial reform law.

The 2013 Financial Services appropriations bill provides the Securities and Exchange Commission with $245 million in new funds to implement the Dodd-Frank law, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with $102.7 million.

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In contrast, House Financial Services bill effectively cuts SEC funding by hampering its ability to spend from a reserve fund, while the House Agriculture bill, which covers the CFTC, does not give CFTC the money it needs.

The bill, which was reported without a recorded vote, heads to the full Appropriations Committee for a vote on Thursday. It will sit as a marker for spending negotiations in the fall whether or not it actually comes to the Senate floor.

Subcommittee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that the GOP is risking the U.S. economy by trying to defund Dodd-Frank.

“It invites disaster,” he said.

Ranking member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said he opposes the bill because, unlike the House version, it does not subject Obama’s new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the congressional spending process and thereby gives Congress less power over the agency. CFPB is currently funded by the Federal Reserve.

Overall the Financial Services bill provides $22.99 billion in funding for 2013, and adheres to last August’s debt-ceiling deal. This is a $1.26 billion increase from 2012, but $341 million below Obama’s 2013 budget request.

The House version would spend $21.15 billion. The contrast ensures an appropriations showdown likely after the 2013 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

The House bill also contains a controversial rider that would stop the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing a ruling that would force broadcast television stations to put information about political media buying on their websites.

Durbin vowed to fight to strip that provision in conference committee and said he supports the FCC ruling. The report language accompanying the bill also supports the FCC ruling.