House panel advances financial services spending bill

House panel advances financial services spending bill
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A House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday advanced a $23.4 billion bill to provide funding for the IRS, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other financial-related agencies in fiscal 2019.

The bill cleared the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee by voice vote, though Democrats have concerns about the measure. It now heads to the full Appropriations Committee.

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The bill would increase IRS funding by $186 million compared to this year, and includes $77 million for the agency to use to implement the new tax-cut law President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE signed in December. Republicans in recent years have generally sought to cut the IRS's budget, but have been more open to giving the agency a funding boost since the tax law passed.

The bill would provide the SEC with $1.66 billion, a decline of $201 million compared to this year. The decline in funding relates to one-time costs in 2018 associated with lease renewals.

The measure also includes a number of financial services reforms sought by Republicans, including making the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau subject to federal appropriations.

Other agencies funded by the bill include the federal judiciary, Small Business Administration, Federal Communications Commission and Office of National Drug Control Policy.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenRepublican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (R-N.J.) said the bill has "a lot of merit."

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE (R-Ga.), chairman of the financial services subcommittee, praised in particular a provision that would set aside $585 million that can't be spent until there is a budget deficit of zero or a budget surplus.

But Democrats expressed concerns because the bill doesn't include any direct funding to state governments for election integrity efforts.

"The 2019 financial services bill is inadequate at best, negligent at worst," said the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse Democrats unveil coronavirus economic response package Biden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins Trump, Congress struggle for economic deal under coronavirus threat MORE of New York.

Lowey also blasted "poison pill riders" that "continue the assault on consumers, women's reproductive healthcare and the District of Columbia."