The Senate passed a sweeping finance regulation bill today by a vote of 59-39 which now must be reconciled with the House bill passed previously.
The Senate on Thursday approved a far-reaching financial regulatory bill, putting Congress on the brink of approving a broad expansion of government oversight of the increasingly complex banking industry and financial markets.
Key Amendments to Senate Finance Bill
The legislation is intended to prevent a repeat of the 2008 crisis, but also reshapes the role of numerous federal agencies, and vastly empowers the Federal Reserve, in an attempt to predict and contain future debacles.
The vote was 59 to 39.
Democratic Congressional leaders and the Obama administration must now work to combine the Senate measure with a version approved by the House in December, a process that is expected to take several weeks and be completed after Memorial Day.
While there are important differences — notably a Senate provision that would force big banks to spin off some of their most lucrative derivatives business into separate subsidiaries — the bills are broadly similar, making it virtually certain that Congress will adopt the most sweeping regulatory overhaul since the aftermath of the Great Depression.
Stock markets, which dropped sharply on Thursday over concerns that the European debt crisis would weigh on the American economic recovery, briefly regained some lost ground as progress in the Senate indicated an end to the uncertainty around the financial regulatory debate. But the indexes quickly resumed their downward slide and closed down nearly 4 percent for the day.
Enactment of the bill would be a signature achievement for the White House, on par with the recently enacted health care law. President Obama, speaking in the Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon, declared victory over the financial industry and “hordes of lobbyists” that he said had tried to kill the legislation.
“The recession we’re emerging from was primarily caused by a lack of responsibility and accountability from Wall Street to Washington,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s why I made passage of Wall Street reform one of my top priorities as president, so that a crisis like this does not happen again.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/busin … te.html?hp
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