| WASHINGTON, July 16
WASHINGTON, July 16 The Republican-led U.S.
House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to slash
funding for Wall Street oversight and revamp new agencies
dedicated to cracking down on fraud against consumers and
policing risks after the financial crisis.
The $21.3 billion funding bill, which covers appropriations
for the 2015 fiscal year beginning Oct 1 for financial services
and other areas of government, passed the House in a 228 to 195
vote along largely partisan lines.
The Democrat-controlled Senate is not expected to approve
the bill as it is now.
Earlier this week, the White House said that President
Barack Obama "strongly opposes House passage" of the
appropriations bill and would veto it if the legislation reached
House lawmakers have been crafting separate spending bills
for various parts of the government, but the Senate has not
passed any spending measures.
If the two chambers cannot complete these 12 bills by Sept.
30, they will have to resort to a stop-gap funding plan to keep
government agencies running.
In addition to setting funding levels, Wednesday's
legislation contained a raft of other measures.
It would temporarily bar a group of regulators responsible
for policing market risks from designating large non-bank
companies as "systemically important" - so big that their
failure would destabilize markets. Companies given this tag are
subjected to tougher scrutiny by U.S. regulators.
"We must prevent government regulators from expanding the
doctrine of too-big-to-fail into other parts of our economy,"
Representative Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who
introduced that language, said in a statement.
It would also force the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
and the Office of Financial Research, which were created by the
2010 Dodd-Frank law, to go through congressional appropriations.
They currently get funding from other sources.
CURBING THE SEC
The measure would give the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission a budget of only $1.4 billion, which is $300 million
below the White House's request. It also bans the SEC from using
federal money to adopt rules that would impose a harmonized
fiduciary duty on retail brokers and investment advisers.
SEC Chair Mary Jo White said on Wednesday the funding cuts
would force her agency to curtail its enforcement and regulatory
"I have deep concerns that the level of funding ... will
harm America's investors," she said in a statement.
In addition, the bill would prevent the government from
implementing a slew of rules on everything from derivatives and
political spending disclosures to major parts of Obama's
signature healthcare reform law.
The legislation mandates six days of mail delivery by the
U.S. Postal Service, which has been looking for ways to cut
The bill would prevent the District of Columbia from using
federal funds to pay for abortions and implement rules that
decriminalize marijuana use.
It includes a ban on using taxpayer funds to pay for oil
paintings of government officials, including the president and
members of Congress.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by