United States Senate -- view through passed trees and branches.
The Wall Street reform bill has successfully passed the U.S. Senate and is heading to the president's desk for finalization. (Photo: Thinkstock)

The Wall Street reform bill has passed the United States Senate. The Senate first voted to stop discussion and finish the voting. It was expected to easily pass, as 50 of the 51 needed votes had been promised already. The final vote was 60 to 39, and the President’s desk is the next stop for the bill. President Obama is expected to make the decision to sign or veto the bill by sometime next week.

Wall Street reform bill finally passed

The Senate first had to vote to kill discussion. According to CNN Money, the vote to stop debate passed 60 to 38. Soon afterward, the final vote began. The financial reform legislation has been floundering for more than a year, as it was introduced in 2009. The bill needed some key Senate Republicans to offer their support for it in exchange for alterations. However, the bill still has staunch Republican opposition in both houses.

What the bill does

The biggest target of the legislation is Wall Street. It prevents some complex trades and certain bets on securities, derivatives and debt bundle packages. The Wall Street reform bill mandates middlemen be involved in certain kinds of trades so firms insulate themselves from each other better. There will even be an advisory board created that will determine how to break up mega firms on the brink of collapse. The bill also creates a consumer financial protection agency, which will aim to shore up mortgage loans, credit cards and other consumer lending such as payroll loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could be part of the Federal Reserve.

The critics have their say

According to the Wall Street Journal, the economists they surveyed were split down the middle regarding whether they would have voted for it. Economists that the WSJ surveyed mostly believed the effects would be minimal at best. The House Minority Leader John Boehner has already called for the repeal of the bill and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it will “stifle growth and kill jobs.” The bill also grants a minor oversight of the Federal Reserve, makes audits allowed only after emergency money is used, excludes monetary policy and doesn’t address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at all.


- money.cnn.com/2010/07/15/news/economy/Wall_Street_reform_bill_vote/index.htm

- money.cnn.com/2010/06/25/news/economy/whats_in_the_reform_bill/index.htm?postversion=2010063018

- online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703722804575369050948609966.html

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