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Subcommittee Passes Rep. Tom Graves’ Financial Reform Bill
Bill Cuts Spending, Eliminates Programs, Slashes Regulations

Washington, June 29, 2017 - The House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee today passed the fiscal year 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which was authored by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) who is chairman of the subcommittee. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and other related agencies.

The bill totals $20.231 billion, a $1.284 billion cut from last year, including a $149 million cut for the IRS. It also eliminates six non-essential programs, such as the Udall Foundation, the Election Assistance Commission and Truman Scholarships.

The legislation targets resources to programs that will help boost economic growth and opportunity, protect consumers and investors, promote an efficient federal court system, and stop financial crime.

“This is a product of an open and inclusive process,” said Chairman Graves. “My subcommittee communicated extensively with members about their requests and worked around the clock to put together a very conservative bill that aligns closely with President Trump’s budget. I’m particularly excited about the financial reforms, which slash harmful regulations, streamline outdated agency processes, and rein in the rogue Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These reforms will help spur job creation and economic growth, and blaze a clearer path for families and businesses to achieve their dreams.

“This bill also advances many other conservative priorities by cutting spending, zeroing out programs and maintaining pro-life policies,” continued Rep. Graves. “Overall, this bill takes a significant amount of power away from government and gives it back to Georgians and all Americans.”

“Our financial system thrives on stability, and this bill provides the funding necessary for federal regulators to do their jobs in a timely and appropriate manner, while stopping burdensome regulations before they can damage our economy irreparably,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “It also makes key investments in our courts to ensure efficiency and security, and provides funding to important programs – like small business lending – that help our economy grow and prosper.”

Click HERE to read the bill.

Bill Highlights:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – The bill provides $11.1 billion for the IRS, a cut of $149 million from last year.

This holds the agency’s budget to below the 2008 level; however, it provides increased funds to Operations Support to strengthen cybersecurity and IRS information technology, which is a priority of the Trump administration. The bill also includes funds to support IRS’s customer service – such as phone call and correspondence response times – and funding for fraud prevention and cybersecurity.

In addition, the bill addresses underperformance and previous poor management at the IRS by including the below provisions:

  • A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations. The proposed regulation could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many nonprofit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech;
  • A prohibition on funds for bonuses or to rehire former employees unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration;
  • A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs;
  • A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights;
  • A prohibition on funds for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences;
  • A new prohibition on funds to implement new IRS guidance on conservation easements;
  • A new prohibition on funds to determine church exemptions unless the IRS Commissioner has consented and Congress has been notified; and
  • A requirement for extensive reporting on IRS spending and information technology.

Financial Reform – The bill includes a number of provisions within Title IX which are based on language included in H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, which passed the House on June 8, 2017. Among these provisions, the bill brings the CFPB under the regular appropriations process, eliminates its supervisory authority, removes its authority to regulate small-dollar credit, and repeals its authority to restrict arbitration.

Additionally, the bill brings the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and non-monetary policy related functions of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under the regular appropriations process.

Moreover, the bill ends Operation Choke Point and provides community banks with targeted relief from regulations that make it harder for them to lend to individuals and business in their community.

Judiciary – Included in the bill is $7.09 billion for the federal courts. This will provide sufficient funding for all federal court activities, the supervision of offenders and defendants living in our communities, court security, and the timely and efficient processing of federal cases.

Small Business Administration (SBA) The bill contains $848 million for the SBA to help promote opportunities for American small businesses to begin, grow, and prosper. This includes full funding – $156 million – to support $29 billion in 7(a) and $7.5 billion in 504 small business loans.

It also includes $186 million for disaster loan implementation to allow for quick loan processing turnaround when unexpected natural disasters strike, and $12 million for veterans programs.

General Services Administration (GSA) – The bill allows the GSA to spend $7.9 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund, a cut of $981 million from last year. This level of funding will cover the rent and other costs of buildings and properties owned or occupied by federal government agencies across the nation.

The bill includes $20 million for a newly established Asset Proceeds and Space Management Fund. The fund will be used to reduce the inventory of civilian real property and to shrink the federal government’s property footprint.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – Included in the bill is $1.6 billion for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) salaries and expenses, which is a cut of $3 million from last year. The legislation targets funding to the Commission’s economics division to help it better serve investors. The bill also rescinds the unobligated balances of the SEC’s Reserve Fund – a slush fund created under Dodd-Frank from which the SEC can freely spend without congressional oversight. Instead, the bill provides an additional $50 million for critical information technology initiatives that were previously funded out of the Reserve Fund.

In addition, the legislation contains policy provisions and reporting requirements to improve transparency, accountability, and fairness and stop overly burdensome regulation. For example, the bill:

  • Requires the OMB to report to Congress on the cost and regulatory burdens of the Dodd-Frank Act;
  • Prohibits the agency from requiring the disclosure of political contributions in SEC filings.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – The bill contains $322 million for the FCC, a cut of $35 million from last year.

Executive Office of the President (EOP) The legislation contains $688 million for the EOP, which is $21,000 cut from last year. Within this amount, the bill provides $254 million for High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and $108.8 million for other federal drug control programs.

District of Columbia The bill maintains provisions prohibiting federal and local funds from being used for abortion.

ObamaCare – The bill includes provisions to stop the IRS from implementing an individual insurance mandate on the American people. The bill also includes a provision prohibiting funds to pay for an abortion.

Other Legislative Provisions – The legislation contains several policy provisions, including:

  • A prohibition against the use of funds for abortion in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program;
  • A prohibition on funding to require that entities applying for or conducting work under federal contracts disclose campaign contributions;
  • A prohibition related to the Federal Election Commission’s prior approval requirement for corporate trade member association PACs. 


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