Pascrell Offers Amendment to Cut Wasteful Spending at the SEC
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) offered an amendment to the Interior, Environment, Financial Services, and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019, that would strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by cutting wasteful spending on a salary for a recent hire who has been a staunch enemy of the SEC’s critical work
"The SEC remains one of our most important bodies safeguarding the purity and efficiency of our bedrock financial institutions. Unfortunately, Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have been hard at work hobbling the agency by slashing enforcement and compliance positions through a debilitating hiring freeze. At the same time, the Trump administration is exploiting a loophole to install former Rep. Scott Garrett in a high-ranking, high-salaried position at the SEC."
“The SEC needs capable, dedicated professionals. Throughout his time in Congress, Mr. Garrett was an unswerving foe of the SEC’s core functions, and repeatedly sought to undermine its work. Besides highlighting galling hypocrisy, awarding Mr. Garrett a salary of over $200,000 to enforce regulations he worked tirelessly to rip up defies any logic I can comprehend. There’s a reason Mr. Garrett’s fellow conservatives in the Senate rejected him for a post at the Export-Import Bank. Because this position does not require congressional consent, the House cannot remove him. But under the recently-reinstated Holman Rule, it can set his salary at a more appropriate level. Democrats opposed the Rule’s return, but as long as Republicans resuscitated it, here now is an opportunity to put it to good use. My amendment would reduce Mr. Garrett’s salary to $1.00 per annum. Doing this can help protect the SEC and our economic markets, and aid Donald Trump in his purported mission to drain the swamp.”
Despite a hiring freeze at the SEC, Former U.S. Representative Scott Garrett was hired as a full-time employee in the Office of the General Counsel with an annual salary of $215,001. Garrett was rejected by the Senate Banking Committee on December 19, 2017 to head the Export-Import Bank by a vote of 10-to-13. The SEC position is considered an “excepted service position,” which does not require an application through the federal government’s USAJobs website and is exempt from competitive hiring procedures. According to news reports, Garrett’s day-to-day activities involve sharing information between financial regulators. When Garrett served in the House, he chaired the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, which oversaw the SEC.
According to the SEC budget justification for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, its overall staffing level is expected to drop to 4,528 positions by the end of FY18, a loss of 146 jobs from FY17. While the FY19 requests an increase to 4,628 positions, this is still a loss of 46 jobs from FY17. Job loss is expected in positions such as enforcement, compliance inspections and examination, risk management, and the general counsel office.