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Washington D.C. July 20, 2022 -Today, the House of Representatives passed a six-bill appropriations package (H.R. 8294) for fiscal year 2023 that includes $210.33 million for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is the bureau of the Treasury Department responsible for implementing the Corporate Transparency Act to end the abuse of anonymous U.S. shell companies, as well as for crafting other rules to counter money laundering in the $50 trillion real estate and $11 trillion private investment markets.

This new appropriations budget represents a 31 percent increase in FinCEN’s budget over FY2022 enacted levels, and meets the amount requested by the Biden Administration in the President’s discretionary budget request earlier this year. The Senate has not yet released its draft appropriations language.

Ian Gary, executive director of the FACT Coalition, issued this statement: 

“By approving this budgetary increase for the nation’s financial crime fighters, the House of Representatives has demonstrated its commitment to safeguarding the U.S. economy from becoming a magnet for the world’s illicit funds – whether from Russian oligarchs, global kleptocrats, criminals, or U.S. adversaries. The Senate must now follow suit and approve $210.33 million for FinCEN’s fiscal year 2023 budget.

“This funding increase, if enacted, will prove essential for FinCEN by giving the bureau the resources necessary to turn the tables on financial secrecy at a time when the U.S. has newly risen in the ranks as the top supplier of financial secrecy in the world – fueling more than Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda combined. New funds will empower FinCEN to expedite lagging anti-money laundering rulemakings, including those to implement the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act. ​​FinCEN must accelerate implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act to help end the scourge of anonymous shell companies used to commit financial crimes.

“Treasury officials estimate that illicit funds equaling 2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product flow through the U.S. economy each year. That means that in 2021, those illicit funds would have totaled an estimated $460 billion. This sum dwarfs the modest resources provided to FinCEN, which have historically amounted to around 0.0006 percent of U.S. GDP, to carry out its role as the U.S. financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering policy setter.

“FinCEN may soon have even more on its plate. Congress is seeking to advance long-overdue legislation – like the ENABLERS Act approved last week in the House’s version of the must-pass defense bill – to bring certain non-bank business professionals under the scope of U.S. anti-money laundering laws administered by FinCEN. The bureau must have the resources and will to meaningfully and expeditiously work through its existing rulemaking docket, and be prepared for additional responsibilities in the future.

“We’re grateful to Reps. Quigley (D-IL), Womack (R-AR), DeLauro (D-CT), and Granger (R-TX) for ensuring that FinCEN has adequate funds to protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system. We look forward to working with Sens. Leahy (D-VT), Shelby (R-AL), Van Hollen (D-MD), and Hyde-Smith (R-MS) to do the same.”

Notes:

  • Click here for the Rules Committee minibus draft of H.R. 8294, which includes $210.33 million for FinCEN.
  • 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.
  • The 2022 Financial Secrecy Index named the U.S. as the top supplier of financial secrecy in the world. FACT Press Release on the 2022 Financial Secrecy Index.
  • President Biden’s FY2023 Budget Request (p. 98).
  • FACT Sheet for Congress on Emergency Treasury Funding Needs re: Ukraine Crisis and FY2023.

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition is a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair and honest tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

For more information, visit www.thefactcoalition.org.