Obama looks to double funding for Wall Street regulators

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President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal to be unveiled Tuesday asks Congress to double funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the President for Economic Policy, announced Monday that the budget calls for doubling the SEC and CFTC budgets by 2021.

“The 2017 budget’s down payment toward that target includes funding of $1.8 billion for the SEC and $330 million for the CFTC, up 11 percent and 32 percent respectively,” he wrote in a blog post on the White House website. “The budget also reflects continued support for legislation to enable funding the CFTC through user fees like other federal financial and banking regulators.”

Zients said the budget increases are an effort to expand regulatory gains from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Obama passed in 2009 in response to the financial crisis.

“Last year the Administration fought hard to keep Congressional Republicans from using must-pass budget legislation to roll back Wall Street Reform,” he said. “We also fought to increase funding for financial regulators and to maintain their independence.  But even these gains aren’t enough.”

While pushing for more funding, Zients said the administration will continue to block efforts to restrict the funding independence of other financial regulators like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.