Despite objections from the Republican agency head, the Trump Administration has proposed futures users fees, as a way to keep CFTC appropriations flat but provide the requested agency funding.
The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget calls for keeping the CFTC’s budget appropriations flat at $250 million, but would add an additional $31.5 million in funding from a fee on some firms that participate in derivatives markets. The CFTC currently lacks the authority to collect such fees—and would require Congress to act to change its funding rules. The budget proposal is a compromise with CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Trump-appointed Republican, who has been lobbying for additional funding but has publicly opposed fees on derivatives transactions. At a House Appropriations Committee hearing last year, he argued that market participants must already pay transaction fees to self-regulatory organizations and that additional costs could have a negative impact on liquidity.