Obama to call for increases in budget for SEC, CFTC: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget will call for an 11 percent increase in funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and a 32 percent increase for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a White House official said on Monday.

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a reporter's question after delivering a statement on the economy in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Obama will propose that the SEC be given $1.8 billion and the CFTC $330 million in the budget, economic adviser Jeffrey Zients said in a blog post on the White House website.

“Last year the Administration fought hard to keep Congressional Republicans from using must-pass budget legislation to roll back Wall Street Reform,” he wrote, referring to fiscal 2016.

“We also fought to increase funding for financial regulators and to maintain their independence. But even these gains aren’t enough.”

“And while the Administration is pushing for more funding for these regulators, we’ll also continue to oppose efforts to restrict the funding independence of the other financial regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” he wrote.

The Republican-controlled Congress is likely to oppose these and many other proposals in Obama’s budget.

In addition to the proposed increases from the previous fiscal year, the budget will offer support again for user fees to fund the CFTC in a similar way to other financial regulators, Zients said.

“Fee funding would shift the costs of regulatory services provided by the CFTC from the taxpayer to the very firms that benefit from the CFTC’s oversight. This is a commonsense change that is long overdue,” he said.

The budget would also take steps to reduce risk in the financial sector by assessing a fee against large financial institutions based on their liabilities.

“We learned the hard way in 2008 just how damaging risk and leverage in the financial system can be, and we’ve done a lot to curb excessive risk on Wall Street since,” Zients said, referring to the global financial crisis. “This fee is another way to further those reforms, ensuring that taxpayers aren’t on the hook for risky Wall Street gambles.”

Federal fiscal 2017 begins on Oct. 1 of this year.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Jonathan Oatis