FACT Welcomes the Proposal’s Increased Funds for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
WASHINGTON, DC – In response to President Biden’s 2023 proposed budget, the FACT Coalition welcomed substantial increases in funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), two offices at the Treasury Department responsible for safeguarding the U.S. financial system and preventing its abuse for financial crime and corruption.
“The President’s new budget starts to give our nation’s financial crime fighters the resources they need, especially at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed the ease with which criminals move ill-gotten gains around the globe – including through the United States,” said Ian Gary, FACT’s executive director. “With appropriate funding, the U.S. Treasury Department can deliver the long overdue anti-money laundering reforms that will stop kleptocrats, criminals, and terrorists from threatening U.S. national security and undermining global democracy.”
The President’s FY2023 budget sets aside $210 million – an increase of $49 million above FY2022 enacted levels – for FinCEN, the agency in charge of carrying out much of the Administration’s Strategy on Countering Corruption. These funds will support the agency as it implements several key rulemakings to identify the true owners of otherwise anonymous entities, as well as to prevent large-scale money laundering in the real estate sector and private investment markets. If the budget is approved in its current form, the agency will see a much-needed staff increase of approximately 50 percent, to 420 personnel.
Though it is tasked with protecting the world’s largest economy, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is smaller in size than the financial intelligence unit of Australia, though Australia’s economy is around one-fifteenth the size.
Further, the Administration requests $212 million, or a $37 million increase, for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). Both FinCEN and TFI play a critical role in collecting and analyzing the financial data necessary to administer and enforce U.S. sanctions.
“As Congress reaches for short-term ways to protect human rights and international democracy, it must also equip agencies like FinCEN and TFI with the right tools to protect the U.S. financial system and bolster the efficacy of international sanctions long-term,” said Mr. Gary. “With this budget, Congress will be more effective in inflicting financial pain on Putin’s cronies and kleptocrats around the world.”
Earlier this month, Congress approved an omnibus package that delivered emergency funding of $19 million and $25 million respectively to FinCEN and TFI to help enforce sanctions in light of the crisis in Ukraine. Nevertheless, that same package fell short of the Administration’s FY2022 request for FinCEN by about $30 million.
Notes to the Editor:
- President Biden’s Budget Request for FY2023 (p. 98).
- FinCEN staffing increases resulting from the FY2023 Budget request (p. 1004).
- Congress’s FY2022 final approved budget, including a supplemental for Ukraine (p. 478, p. 1842).
- FACT Sheet for Congress on Emergency Treasury Funding Needs re: Ukraine Crisis.
- Press release from earlier this month, reflecting on Congress’ approval of an FY2022 budget.