Durbin Unveils 2012 Financial Services, General Government Appropriations Bill

With Tighter Budgets, Consumer/Financial Protection Agencies Still Top Priority

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), today unveiled the subcommittee’s appropriations package for fiscal year 2012. The bill covers $21.73 billion in discretionary spending for the nation’s consumer and financial watchdogs, over two dozen agencies within the Executive Branch; the Federal Courts; District of Columbia; and  independent agencies.


“This year’s appropriations bill continues to ensure that the nation’s consumer and investor protection agencies have the tools and resources necessary to protect Americans,” Durbin said. “The passage of the Wall Street reform bill expands responsibilities and important roles for the SEC, CFTC and this bill provides the funding to continue this much needed reform. Once again our bill is both fiscally responsible and transparent and does a great deal with increasingly scarce resources.”


This year’s bill continues to emphasize the need to increase or maintain the resources for America’s consumer protection agencies. In particular, the bill dramatically increases funding for our nation’s leading market watchdogs: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These funds were prioritized to ensure that agencies tasked with implementing the Dodd-Frank financial reforms were prioritized.


The Securities and Exchange Commission:

The FY12 FSGG appropriations bill expands SEC the necessary resources to effectively protect shareholders and police a vast and increasingly complex market.


The Committee’s proposed FY12 funding level of $1.407 billion would represent an increase of $222 million (19%) over the FY11 enacted level. The additional resources would support increased legal and investigative staffing for oversight and enforcement responsibilities including new mandates under the Wall Street reform bill, as well as substantial investments in IT upgrades. This funding is fully offset by collection of securities transaction fees.


The Commodity Futures Trading Commission:

The CFTC’s job is to ensure that the futures markets are equipped to provide a mechanism for price discovery and a means of offsetting price risks.

The Committee’s proposed funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of $240 million would represent an increase of $37.7 million (18%) over above the FY11 enacted funding level. This additional investment in the CFTC would support staffing increases and IT enhancements for implementation of the new Wall Street reform bill. This includes new regulation and oversight of trading and clearance of over-the-counter derivatives. 


Consumer Product Safety Commission:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is the nation’s leading consumer protection watchdog, charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the dramatic decline consumer products injuries and deaths over the past 30 years.


The bill allocates $114.5 million to the CPSC to carry out the requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.


Department of Treasury:

$12.986 billion, a decrease of $509million (3.8%) from the FY11 enacted level.


  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The bill designates $11.663 billion for the IRS, $458.8 million decrease from the FY11 enacted level. These funds will support completion for the 2012 tax filing season of the migration from obsolete legacy systems to a state-of-the-art data system with capacity for daily posting, expedited refund processing, and enhanced customer service.


  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund:  The bill provides $200 million; a decrease of $27 million from last year’s enacted level. CDFI grants support financial services to underserved communities, including lending and investment in affordable housing, small business, and community development.



$6.93 billion, an increase of $26.7 million over the FY11enacted level. While this represents an overall increase for the Courts, most accounts within the Judiciary are cut below last year’s level. 


The Judiciary is one of the largest accounts in the FSGG bill, requiring sizeable increases each year just to maintain current operations.  The Subcommittee recognizes these needs and the importance of maintaining adequate court operations, and has accommodated these needs as much as possible, while balancing other priorities.


Executive Office of the President:

$660.3 million, an increase of $45.0 million (6.4%) over the FY11 enacted level.


  • Office of National Drug Control Policy: The bill proposes $359.3 million in funding for the office responsible for the policies, priorities, and objectives of the Nation's drug control programs. 


The District of Columbia:

$658.1 million in Federal payments, a $40.6 million decrease from the FY11 enacted level. The bill also approves the District’s local budget of $10.9 billion.


Overall Spending:

The subcommittee’s follows the spending guidance of $21.731 billion in discretionary budget authority in addition to $21.7 billion in mandatory spending.


Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) is the subcommittee’s Ranking Member.