Washington: The US Senate on Thursday gave a final approval to a sweeping reform of the Wall Street to make financial institutions more accountable and prevent a repeat of the 2008 market collapse, handing out a major legislative victory to President Barack Obama.
The Senate passed the Wall Street Reform Bill by 60 to 39 votes and the bill is now headed to the White House for Obama to sign in into law.
The House of Representatives had passed the bill early this week. Immediately before passing the bill, senators first voted 60-38 to end a debate on the bill and then voted 60-39 to dismiss a final roadblock -- a point of order charging the legislation fell afoul of congressional budget rules.
The voting for and against the bill was held largely on party lines with only three of the 41 Republicans in the Senate voting alongside the Democrats in favour of the reform.
The provisions to make financial institutions more accountable will create new protections for millions of consumers.
The passage of the bill was immediately welcomed by the Obama Administration and lawmakers.
"The financial reform legislation approved by the Congress today represents a welcome and far-reaching step toward preventing a replay of the recent financial crisis," said Ben S Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
"It strengthens the consolidated supervision of systemically important financial institutions, gives the government an important additional tool to safely wind down failing financial firms, creates an inter agency council to detect and deter emerging threats to the financial system, and enhances the transparency of the Federal Reserve while preserving the political independence that is crucial to monetary policymaking," he said.
It was the second major legislative victory for Obama this year after a bill overhauling US health care in March.
"We're giving consumers and taxpayers the strongest protections they've ever had. We're giving Wall Street the strongest oversight it's ever had ? not to stifle it, but to safeguard us," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"We're taking the shady markets that operate in the darkness and bringing them out into the daylight," he said.
Some, however, say the bill does not do enough to end the recklessness at the Wall Street.
In a statement after the vote, Senator Bernie Sanders called the overall legislation a "positive step forward" but added that much more has to be done to end the greed and recklessness of Wall Street financiers responsible for the worst economic collapse since the 1930s.
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