Congress sent legislation to President Obama today that imposes sweeping new regulations on Wall Street and creates new protections for millions of US consumers. The Senate's 60-39 vote came nearly two years after a financial crisis knocked the US economy to its knees. At a whopping 2,300 pages, the legislation is designed to rein in big banks and protect consumers in hopes of averting a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Its ultimate impact, however, will depend on the government regulators assigned to implement it.
The legislation gives the government new powers to break up companies that threaten the economy, creates a new agency to guard consumers in their financial transactions, and shines a light into shadow financial markets that have escaped the oversight of regulators. Republicans cast the bill as a vast government overreach, and were betting that voters' antipathy toward big government and their worries over jobs would trump their anger at Wall Street in the November elections. (Read more Wall Street regulation stories.)