Financial Regulatory Reform Bill Passes, 59-39
Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) bill overhauling the regulation of banks and financial firms has passed, 59 to 39. In short, the bill makes the financial system stronger by giving the Federal Reserve and new regulatory agencies — including the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and a systemic oversight council — the ability to impose leverage and capital requirements as well as new rules against banks and non-banks alike.
Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) did not vote. Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Scott Brown (Mass.) voted for the proposal. Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Russ Feingold (Wis.) did not, saying that the bill is too weak to reign in Wall Street firms. All other senators voted along party lines.
The Senate did not vote on any amendments this evening — meaning that Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) strong version of the Volcker rule, barring proprietary trading at banks, will not be in the bill. The hard work of reconciling the House and Senate bills in conference committee starts soon.