Durbin Chairs Hearing on Treasury Department's Budget

Hearing Also Focus On Economic Policy Including Regulatory Reform

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired a hearing today reviewing the FY10 budget request for the Department of the Treasury. The President’s FY10 budget request for the Treasury Department for programs under the jurisdiction of the subcommittee is $13.36 billion – over 90 percent ($12.13 billion) of which is designated for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax administration. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before Durbin’s Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee.


“In the last year, the Treasury Department has been entrusted with an enormous level of responsibility - from managing $700 billion in taxpayer dollars through the TARP program to overseeing the rebuilding of troubled mortgage markets,” Durbin said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Geithner and Commissioner Shulman to ensure that Treasury has the resources and authorities necessary to manage the government’s finances, promote economic growth and stability, and ensure the safety and soundness of U.S. and international financial systems.”


In addition to reviewing the budget requests for FY10, Durbin and Geithner discussed various proposals to reform regulation of the financial sector including Durbin’s proposal for a Financial Product Safety Commission – a single government agency in charge of ensuring that the offering of financial products to consumers is responsible, accountable, and transparent. Other issues discussed at today’s hearing included efforts to stabilize housing markets; executive compensation; and oversight of the TARP program.


Department of Treasury – Non-IRS Budget Request:


The President’s FY10 budget request $1.24 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Treasury - a 6.3% increase over the FY09 operating level of $1.16 billion. These funds support the development and implementation of economic policies; intelligence and enforcement efforts related to criminal and terrorist financial activities; grants to community development financial institutions; tax and regulation of alcohol, tobacco and firearms; and government-wide accounting and debt management.

Departmental Offices: The budget requests $302.4 million for the central offices of the Department, an 8.4% increase over the FY09 level of $278.9 million. The requested increase includes funding for 62 new full time employees (FTEs), of which 45 FTEs will support domestic finance and tax policy. New staff will enhance the Department’s economic research capabilities and its tax expertise as it relates to the financial crisis, climate change, and health care reform.


Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: The CDFI Fund provides capital to institutions serving distressed communities, leveraging private sector investment from banks, foundations, and other sources. For FY10, the request is $243.6 million – a 128% increase from the FY09 enacted level of $107 million. This increase would add to the $100 million provided in the Recovery Act. Of the $136.6 million increase, $56.6 million would boost the traditional CDFI program. In 2008, Illinois CDFIs received over $8.7 million in CDFI grants.


Department of Treasury – Internal Revenue Service Budget Request:


The President’s FY10 budget requests $12.13 billion for the IRS, an overall increase of $603.4 million (5.2%) above the FY09 enacted level of $11.52 billion. This proposed level would support more than 95,000 full time employees - more than 2,300 more than FY09. The work of the IRS and the flow of revenues it generates drive a substantial portion of the rest of Federal spending. In FY08, the IRS collected $2.7 trillion, 96% of total Federal receipts.


Of the proposed $603.4 million overall increase, $463 million (77%) is slated for program increases, a significant portion of which would be devoted to four new enforcement initiatives. These new initiatives include targeting the underreporting of income associated with international activities and expanding enforcement of noncompliance among business and high-income taxpayers.