Democrats in the U.S. Senate found the votes they needed to pass financial regulatory reform Thursday. CBS News reports the changes in the bill have been a high priority on the Obama administration's agenda, second only to health care reform.
Though most were sure the most sweeping financial reform legislation since the 1930s would pass eventually, the bill's future was called into question just before the July 4 holiday when Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., passed away and Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., temporarily changed his mind about supporting the bill.
Brown wasn't the only Republican to support the legislation, but that has not stopped several other Senate Republicans from blasting the bill, even as President Obama praised its passage. The most vocal so far has been Sen. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who told reporters before the bill even passed that he thinks it should be repealed.
I think the financial reform bill is ill conceived, going to make credit harder for the American people to get, clearly harder for businesses to get and the fact that it's going to punish every banker in America for the sins of the few on Wall Street is unwise. On top of that I think it institutionalizes "too big to fail" and gives far too much authority to federal bureaucrats to bail out virtually any company in America they decide ought to be bailed out.
Among other things, the legislation includes stiffer regulation of derivatives trading, creates a new financial agency focused on consumer protection and sets out new procedures for closing failing financial firms.