May 21, 2010

With the help of four Republicans, the U.S. Senate passed its version of financial reform legislation by a 59 to 39 margin late last night. Illinois’ own Sens. Dick Durbin and Roland Burris both voted in favor. The bill will now move to a House-Senate conference committee, where the differences between this package and the House version that passed in December will be ironed out. Democratic leaders hope to get final legislation to President Obama’s desk by July 4.

UPDATE (12:25 p.m.): Here’s a statement from Dory Rand, president of the Woodstock Institute:

Woodstock Institute applauds the Senate for taking a bold stand on behalf of America’s consumers. The Restoring American Financial Stability Act passed last night lays the groundwork for a healthier financial system that will hold banks accountable, protect consumers, and be more transparent—and, ultimately, help prevent another devastating financial crisis. […]

In spite of intense pressure from financial institutions and special interests trying to weaken the bill and introduce carve-outs, the Senate largely held their ground. Although the bill is not perfect, it still creates for the first time ever an agency with the interests of consumers—not banks—as its top priority. As the bill goes to conference with the House, we encourage our leaders in Washington to resist attempts to weaken the bill and continue to strengthen it by creating an independent consumer financial protection agency, improving data transparency, and ending casino-style banking.

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