Republican lawmakers aiming to rein in the federal budget have asked U.S. agencies implementing the Dodd-Frank financial-rules overhaul to provide a full account of their spending, hiring and contracting.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus and Representative Randy Neugebauer have asked nine agencies, including the Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to lay out the new law’s effect on their fiscal 2011 budget requests, according to a letter obtained today by Bloomberg News.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that mandates are not overly burdensome or wasteful of taxpayer money,” Bachus and Neugebauer, who leads the Financial Services oversight and investigations subcommittee, said in the letter dated today. They requested a response by Feb. 10.
The CFTC and SEC, which are responsible for a large share of the rulemaking under Dodd-Frank, have become involved in the congressional budget debate this week. Both agencies have said their ability to implement mandated rules will be hindered or halted unless they get increased funding from Congress.
House Republican leaders swept to power in November elections have pledged to cut spending to 2008 levels, and some party members are pushing for even deeper cuts. Democrats have said the agencies, still working under their 2010 budgets, need more money to implement the law enacted in July.
Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said this week that Republicans are trying to “cripple regulation by failing to fund it.”
Bachus of Alabama and Neugebauer of Texas also requested details on the staffing and funding requirements of any new offices or divisions required by the law. The agencies also were asked if they plan to impose or increase fees on the financial- services industry to raise more funds for implementation.
Copies of the letter were sent to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration adviser in charge of setting up the consumer agency, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.
The letter was also sent to the heads of the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The Fed, FDIC, OCC and FHFA aren’t funded through the congressional appropriations process.
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