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January 14, 2014

House to vote on bipartisan budget

Call it the Return of the Jedi or the prodigal son. But the giant omnibus spending bill moving through Congress this week looms largest for the Appropriations Committees after years of being kicked to the curb by party leaders and ignored by a feckless White House.

Indeed, the $1.1 trillion measure is by far the biggest bipartisan deal written by a committee of Congress — and not in leadership offices — that Washington has seen in some time.

There are surely flaws and short-sightedness along with the dollars. But this pride of authorship and return to a committee process is hugely important for lawmakers after the partisan disarray of the past year.


In the CFTC’s case, that proved to be $215 million in 2014 — about $20 million more than the current fund but $100 million less than Obama’s request. The much larger SEC fares better with a $1.35 billion budget but still $324 million less than requested.

“’It is shameful that Wall Street’s allies in Congress have again failed to fund the very agencies that are charged with protecting Main Street,’ said Dennis Kelleher, president of the nonprofit, Better Markets Inc., which has argued for more vigorous implantation of the Dodd-Frank law. ‘This sets the agencies up to fail by asking them to do much more than their budgets will allow.’”


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