The FACT Coalition Calls on Congress to Move Quickly on Budget Boost for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the U.S. government through December 16, which now awaits President Biden’s signature. While the measure will ensure that agencies can continue operations at existing budgetary levels, the resolution puts off approving the increased funding for key offices in the U.S. Treasury Department contemplated in both chambers’ appropriations bills for fiscal year 2023.
Among the budget boosts not included in the continuing resolution was a 31 percent increase in funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), our nation’s financial crime fighters, to implement major anti-money laundering reforms. Chief among these is the implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which would end the abuse of anonymous U.S. shell companies. FinCEN published the first final rule of the CTA this week, but two additional rulemakings remain before the law can be fully implemented. The agency is also considering additional landmark reforms to counter money laundering in the $50 trillion real estate and $11 trillion private investment markets.
Ian Gary, Executive Director of the FACT Coalition, said in a statement:
“As FinCEN’s recent rulemaking on the Corporate Transparency Act shows, the U.S. is finally devoting long-overdue attention to our nation’s role in enabling illicit finance. As the world’s leading financial secrecy jurisdiction, however, the U.S. still has a lot of work to do. While FinCEN will be able to keep the lights on under current funding, the agency will be left without key resources needed to fully implement the Corporate Transparency Act, among other reforms. The chronically underfunded agency needs the staffing and technology to get the job done right. Congress should move quickly to fully fund FinCEN as soon as possible.”
“The importance of FinCEN’s work cannot be understated, from helping to track down and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs, to combating drug trafficking and international human rights abuses. Further, unless FinCEN gets the additional resources it needs, U.S. credibility on its anti-corruption commitments will suffer. Last December, the Biden Administration promised the world a “year of action.” The U.S. needs to make further progress in implementing the Corporate Transparency Act and countering real estate money laundering to meet its commitments ahead of the second Summit for Democracy. Sooner still, anti-corruption advocates and global leaders alike will travel to Washington this December for the International Anti-Corruption Conference. The pressure is on for the United States as the host country to prove its anti-corruption credentials.”
“The House has already demonstrated its commitment to giving FinCEN the resources necessary to do its job, passing $210.3 million in increased funding for the bureau. Senate appropriators, for their part, have also put forward additional resources for FinCEN. Congress must now produce a final budget that fulfills the needs of FinCEN, and commit to long-term investments in the agency’s future as the vanguard of our nation’s financial readiness.”
Notes to the Editor:
- Click here for the House Rules Committee minibus draft of H.R. 8294, which includes $210.33 million for FinCEN.
- Click here for the draft text of the Senate appropriations bill, which includes $189 million for FinCEN. The Committee also provided a bill summary and explanatory statement, the latter of which underscores the need for FinCEN to finalize rules tackling money laundering through anonymous U.S. shell companies, real estate, and private investment.
- Click here for FACT’s reaction to June Senate Appropriations testimony by Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, calling for increased congressional funding for FinCEN for the purposes of anti-money laundering reform.
- FinCEN received emergency appropriations as part of two Ukraine packages earlier this year, as a means to backstop efforts to “freeze and seize” Russian oligarch assets.
- A recent Transparency International report, “Up to the Task?: State of Play in Countries Committed to Freezing and Seizing Russian Dirty Money,” demonstrates how U.S. funding for FinCEN stacks up against that of U.S. allies.
- FACT Sheet for Congress on Emergency Treasury Funding Needs re: Ukraine Crisis and FY2023.