The SEC has found itself in the crosshairs of House Republicans and may not get funding it says it needs to implement the many mandates called for in the Dodd-Frank reform bill.
While the Republicans contend they are looking to cut the SEC's budget in the name of fiscal responsibility, Democrats and other critics see it as nothing more than an effort to gut the financial reforms called for in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“The SEC is not perfect, but it has a new set of responsibilities,” said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. “What we're seeing here is ideological opposition to reform of the financial system.”
Spurred by freshmen conservatives in their caucus, the House GOP is seeking tens of billions in cuts from the fiscal year 2011 budget, which has yet to be approved by Congress.
Senate Democrats are pushing back against the effort, and President Barack Obama has threatened to veto a bill the House was poised to approve late last week that would excise $61 billion from his fiscal 2011 proposal.
The intractable budget differences between Republicans and Democrats likely mean that for the foreseeable future, the SEC will not see an increase in its $1.1 billion budget as it works to implement the massive financial reform law.
Republicans are adamant about reforming what they call Washington's profligate spending culture. One of their targets is the SEC. The House budget bill would lop $25 million off the current SEC budget and $189 million out of Mr. Obama's fiscal 2011 proposal for the agency.