Friday, December 16, 2011

Congress Sets SEC Appropriations for FY 2012 at approx. $1.3 Billion

The conference report on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, HR 3671, sets the SEC FY 2012 budget at $1,321,000,000, of which $6,795,000 must be for the SEC Office of Inspector General. The Act also makes available $100,000 for expenses for consultations and meetings hosted by the SEC with foreign regulatory officials to exchange views concerning securities matters. The conference report is expected to receive approval from the full House and Senate soon.

Section 623 of the Act rescinds $25 million from the unobligated balances available in the SEC Reserve Fund established by Section 991 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers had called a slush fund for the SEC for programs that Congress has not approved. Section 991 of Dodd-Frank created a Reserve Fund that the SEC could use as it deems necessary to carry out its functions. In earlier testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro noted that the Dodd-Frank Reserve Fund would allow the SEC to respond to unexpected market events, invest in multi-year IT projects, and manage authorized programs during continuing resolutions.

While Section 708 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act generally withholds funding for interagency commissions, councils, or committees, Sec. 620 specifically states that funds made available to the CFTC and SEC may be used for the interagency funding and sponsorship of a joint advisory committee to advise on emerging regulatory issues.