Sequester Does Not Appear to have Constrained Regulatory Agency Budgets Open Access

Regulatory agencies’ budgets grew faster than inflation in 2012 and 2013, despite concerns about the sequester, and would continue to grow under President Obama’s proposed budget for 2014. Financial regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, fared particularly well over the last two years, receiving large budget and staffing increases to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Food and Drug Administration, to which the Food Safety Inspection Act of 2011 granted new authority, continues to grow, with projected two-year increases in outlays of more than $1.3 billion and additions of more than 2,000 employees. The Patent and Trademark Office has also experienced notable growth since 2010 as a result of the America Invents Act of 2011, which authorized it to set its own fees. It is slated for almost $700 million in new outlays in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and more than 2,000 new staff.

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