Biden Proposes $139 Million Funding Increase For FTC

President Joe Biden's proposed $5.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2023, unveiled Monday, includes an additional $139 million for the Federal Trade Commission and an additional $88 million for the Department of Justice's antitrust division.

The White House stated Monday that the proposed bumps show the administration's "commitment to vigorous marketplace competition through robust enforcement of antitrust law."

The proposed budget reflects the administration's agenda, but the version released Monday is considered unlikely to be passed. 

The FTC's current budget is around $351 million. Last year, the administration unsuccessfully sought a $38 million increase for the agency.

In September, House Democrats on the Energy & Commerce Committee floated a proposal to give the FTC $1 billion, in order to create a new bureau devoted to privacy, data security and identity theft.



The think tank Chamber of Progress, funded by the tech industry, supported that proposal.

But the ad industry argued that any increase in funding for privacy should be tied to a new national privacy law.

In the past, the FTC requested more funds in order to hire additional staff devoted to privacy. Former FTC chair Joe Simons asked Congress in 2019 for funding to hire more people to investigate and prosecute privacy cases.

He said at the time that the agency employs 40 full-time staff devoted to privacy and data security. By comparison, the Information Commissioners' office has around 500 employees, Simons told lawmakers.

Simons said the FTC could hire around 160 more people with an extra $50 million, 260 additional people with $75 million and 360 new employees with $100 million.

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