* Letter requests details on law's impact on budgets
* SEC and CFTC have requested budget increases
By Dave Clarke
WASHINGTON, Jan 28 House Republicans are asking
U.S. financial regulators how much they will have to increase
their budgets to carry out the new Dodd-Frank reforms as they
scrutinize the controversial law.
Republicans opposed the law when it was moving through
Congress and have said they will try to influence its
implementation through oversight hearings and by scrutinizing
"It is our responsibility to ensure that federal agencies
have the tools they need to carry out congressional mandates,"
House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus and oversight
subcommittee chairman Randy Neugebauer wrote the heads of nine
agencies in a January 28 letter.
Among those receiving the letter were Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and
special assistant to the president on consumer issues Elizabeth
The lawmakers asked for information on the cost of
implementing the new law in fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012 as well
as information about how many new hires will be brought on
board and whether more office space will be needed.
Most financial regulators do not need Congress to approve
taxpayer money for their budgets each year and instead rely on
fees charged to the financial industry for their funding.
Two exceptions are the Securities and Exchange Commission
and the Commodity Futures Trade Commission.
Neither of these agencies have received the added funding
they requested for the current fiscal year as Republicans have
so far not agreed to go along with these budgetary boosts.
The heads of both agencies have warned that failure to
deliver the added funds will impair their ability to carry out
the new responsibilities given to them by Dodd-Frank.
Recognizing that not all agencies rely on Congress for
their funding, the letter asks if regulators will increase fees
to cover the cost of carrying out the law.
The letter also was sent to the heads of the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp, Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, SEC, CFTC, Federal Trade Commission and Federal
Housing Finance Agency.
(Reporting by Dave Clarke, Editing by Carol Bishopric)