Financial reform bill passes U.S. House
The U.S. House of Representatives passed sweeping changes to financial regulation Friday.
The bill includes the most extensive reforms in business oversight since the New Deal.
It empowers the government to break up companies that threaten the economy, creates an agency to oversee consumer banking transactions, and increases disclosure requirements by companies that operate in previously unregulated financial markets.
The vote of 223-202 went largely along party lines. No Republican voted for while 27 Democrats voted against.
Coming a year after Wall Street bank failures plunged the country into a financial crisis, passage of the bill is a win for the White House. Still, the legislation waters down some of President Barack Obama's recommendations.
The next step is up to the Senate, which is not expected to act on its version of a regulatory overhaul until early next year.
If passed into law, the changes would affect every financial institution from the smallest payday loan company to Wall Street traders dealing in complex derivatives. The bill also proposes a consumer protection agency whose powers would pre-empt those of current banking regulators, something big banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vigorously opposed.
Democrats said the law would help address the shortfalls that led to the financial crisis while Republicans argued it would institutionalize bailouts for the financial industry.
With files from The Associated Press