President Obama’s request for 250 more financial advisor examiners at the Securities and Exchange Commission survived its first Senate test Tuesday.
But the extra examiners are still likely to be missing from the final fiscal 2014 spending plan Congress sends to the president, since the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has shown a resistance to increased SEC funding.
On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services Subcommittee voted to give the SEC the full Obama request of $1.674 billion, an increase of $353 million (33 percent) over the fiscal 2013 appropriation.
But last Thursday, the full House Appropriations Committee authorized the regulator to spend only $1.371 billion for the budget year beginning October 1. That number is nearly identical to what the SEC received in fiscal 2013.
A substantial portion of the Senate committee’s higher SEC budget was slated to go to the additional examiners, as requested by the president.
The SEC said the extra staff is vital because only 8 percent of advisors are inspected each year and 40 percent have never had an examination.
In addition to the $1.674 billion, the Senate subcommittee would let the SEC spend $50 million from a reserve fund. The House measure, on the other hand, abolishes that fund.