WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2014 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, providing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with $1.674 billion, which is an increase of $353 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and is fully offset by fees collected on transactions. Reed led 28 of his colleagues in a letter supporting this funding level. The committee also included Reed’s request to fund the Commodity Futures Trading Commission at $315 million, $110 million more than last year.
“This bill will help give the SEC and the CFTC the resources they need to aggressively pursue fraud, improve risk management capabilities, and fulfill their mission to protect investors. Strengthening the SEC helps boost investor confidence and integrity to our markets,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, as well as the Banking Committee.
Overall, the FY 2014 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill includes proposed budget authority of $23.189 billion, $1.774 billion more than the 2013 enacted level. The bill includes critical funding to help small business grow and protect consumers.
Another key provision supported by Reed that was included in the bill is $949 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA), including support for $36.5 billion in lending to small businesses. The bill also provides $211.5 million for entrepreneurial development grants, which is 13 percent higher than the House level for these key programs that provide technical assistance, training, and business planning guidance for starting and growing small businesses. Additionally, $191.1 million is set aside to support disaster lending to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, and renters recovering after major disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy.
“It is critical that all of Rhode Island’s creditworthy small businesses have access to the credit and critical technical assistance to help grow their companies and create jobs. This bill will help provide more entrepreneurs with access to capital,” said Reed.
Reed was also a strong backer of including $230 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), which helps invest in communities in Rhode Island and around the country. The CDFI Fund has a unique ability to leverage private sector investment in community development projects like affordable housing, retail development, and lending to small businesses, filling some of the gap left by private sector investment after the financial crisis. This level of funding is $9.4 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The bill also authorizes Treasury to guarantee $1 billion in bonds to CDFIs, at no cost to the taxpayer, by providing long-term, low-rate financing for community development in our nation’s communities hardest hit by the economic downturn.
Reed also backed a provision to include $301 million to help the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) combat consumer fraud. Since the financial crisis, the FTC has been particularly diligent about working to protect consumers from mortgage and debt reduction scams.
Now that it has been approved by the full committee, the bill goes to the full Senate for consideration.