Senate passes financial reform bill

After intense debate in the Senate, expect to see victory laps from President Obama.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/File
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. talks about his amendment to the Wall Street Reform bill to prevent risky activities by the nation's financial institutions on May 4 during a news conference on Capitol Hill. The Senate passed its version of the bill Thursday.

Dodd's 3 million page financial reform legislation passed the Senate last night. The Glass-Steagall stuff keeping commercial banks away from Wall Street didn't make it into the final version.

The removal of banks from prop trading activities will have to be voted on as a standalone amendment, but it will not happen. They tied it to some ridiculous Sam Brownback amendment to protect car dealers from the consumer protections of the bill. This two-headed monster of an amendment will, of course, not see the light of day. The Dems get to save face and show the public they tried while not really angering their biggest donor, Wall Street and the banks.

Next stop is the reconciliation process as the Senate and House smoosh their bills together for a final version. They're not very far apart so expect this to happen briskly. Oh, and expect an Obama press conference and victory lap.

Here's Liz Moyer of Forbes with the details:

The Senate passed a financial regulatory bill Thursday evening that would be the most sweeping reform of the banking system since the 1930s.

Approved by a 59-39 margin, with two Democrats voting against it and four Republicans voting in favor, it now has to be reconciled with a bill approved by the House of Representatives in December before President Barack Obama can sign it. The Obama administration, which put financial reform among its three top priorities alongside health care reform, has said it wants to have a hand in the finalization of the bill.

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