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Financial Reform Bill Passes

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, one of the most sweeping regulatory changes to the financial industry since the Great Depression, passed the House of Representatives today by a final vote of 223-202. On final passage, 27 Democrats voted no along with every Republican voting.

The bill is riddled with loopholes, but does include some laudatory elements, including a proviso to audit the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, leverage limits for banks, shareholder limits for derivative clearinghouses, provisions that would eliminate “too big to fail,” and more. Given this Congress and the power of the banks, it’s somewhat remarkable that the bill is as good as it is, even though that’s not saying very much.

The vote on the final bill mirrored the vote on the amendment to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, as 223 Democrats also voted to retain that. The names are somewhat different, but for the most part, they line up.

What we do know is that 33 Democrats voted against the CFPA, 27 voted against the underlying bill, and 71 voted against cramdown. Here’s the list of those Democrats who voted against all three:

Marion Berry (AR), Dan Boren (OK), Rick Boucher (VA), Bobby Bright (AL), Ben Chandler (KY), Henry Cuellar (TX), Lincoln Davis (TN), Parker Griffith (AL), Baron Hill (IN), Eric Massa (NY), Mike McIntyre (NC), Harry Mitchell (AZ), Solomon Ortiz (TX), Mike Ross (AR), Ike Skelton (MO), Zack Space (OH), Harry Teague (NM)

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Democratic Corporate Whore All-Stars!

(I really don’t want to hear it from Massa that the bill “wasn’t good enough,” and so, like Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich, he didn’t vote for it. Unlike Kucinich and Kaptur, he also voted the wrong way on the two amendments that actually would have helped people the most.)

UPDATE: Here’s a summary of some of the pros and cons of the House bill.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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