Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White tried to rally Senate appropriators Tuesday to back the agency’s desire for 250 more financial advisor examiners next year by calling the request “one of the SEC’s top priorities” and “important.”

But appeal and the urgency appeared to fall on deaf ears.

In an hour and a half of questioning, none of the members of the Senate Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee mentioned the request or financial advisors, period.

The additional examiners are a significant part of the 33 percent increase to $1.674 billion President Obama is asking for the regulator for its budget year that starts October 1.

Chairman White said more examiners are needed because the number of financial advisors has increased 40 percent in 10 years with assets under management jumping more than two-fold to over $50 trillion.

While not speaking specifically to the exam staff request, Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)
said increasing funding doesn’t insure an agency will successfully complete its mission.

Subcommittee Chairman Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said the budget constraints facing the SEC are very sobering. In April, Udall’s House counterpart Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) said he is against giving the SEC more money.