The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Erica Hanichak, Government Affairs Director

Bipartisan Group of 23 Senators Calls to Augment Budget of U.S. Financial Crime Fighters

FACT Applauds Push to Appropriate More Funds for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network


Today, Sens. Whitehouse (D-RI) and Grassley (R-IA), published a letter signed by 23 bipartisan Senators addressed to congressional appropriators to urge increased funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is the bureau of the Treasury Department that sets U.S. anti-money laundering policy; works with financial institutions to safeguard inroads to the U.S. economy; and analyzes financial data used by other agencies in sanctions enforcement, criminal prosecutions, and civil cases.

Statement by Ian Gary, Executive Director of the FACT Coalition:

"Senators Whitehouse and Grassley have led a bipartisan call to increase funding to the United States' financial crime fighters at a critical time, especially as the U.S. has newly risen in the ranks as the top supplier of financial secrecy in the world - fueling more financial secrecy than Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda combined.

"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. That figure dwarves the resources provided to law enforcement and national security officials tasked with protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system.

"The Biden Administration has made significant commitments to right the course on U.S. financial secrecy and fight corruption at home and abroad, including by implementing the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act that effectively ends the abuse of anonymous U.S. shell entities. FACT has called for final rules implementing the law by the end of this year and an effective directory no later than January 1, 2024. It's now up to Congress to fund that effort.

"Congress is taking a significant step by including $52 million in Treasury appropriations as part of a Ukraine aid package slated to pass later this week. Congress should also approve the President's FinCEN budget request of $210.3 million for the 2023 fiscal year, and enable FinCEN to address both short-term and long-term secrecy threats to the U.S. financial system."

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 tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

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