The new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission is asking Congress to approve a large budget increase to pump up the agency's enforcement, examination and risk assessment efforts.

The SEC's budget was repeatedly slashed year after year during President Bush's second term, crippling its effectiveness and forcing the agency to cut more than 400 jobs at a time when the securities market was experiencing dramatic growth, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said during testimony before the House subcommittee on financial services and general government on March 11.

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