Thursday, July 15, 2010

Senate passes financial overhaul bill

The Senate passed the financial overhaul package in a final vote Thursday, ending more than a year of wrangling over the shape of the landmark legislation. The focus now shifts to the monumental task of implementing the new regulations over coming weeks and months.

The 60 to 39 decision came just before 3 p.m, only a few hours after Democrats cleared a final procedural hurdle by securing enough votes to break a GOP filibuster. The bill now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature.

Three Republicans -- Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine -- joined 57 members of the Democratic caucus in supporting the bill. Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin was the lone Democrat to oppose the measure, saying it failed to go far enough in reining in the financial recklessness and regulatory failures that led to the recent financial crisis.

The House passed the bill late last month, shortly after a House-Senate conference committee had merged earlier versions of the bill into a final, 2,300-page product.

Obama probably will sign the legislation into law next week, aides said, solidifying his second major legislative victory of the year behind the revamp of health care.

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