Democrats Call Regulatory Reform ‘Critical Step’

Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:07pm

House Democrats can check off another box on their ambitious to-do list after approving a sweeping rewrite of Wall Street regulations Friday.

The measure — aimed at preventing a repeat of the meltdown that rocked markets last year — marks the third major overhaul cleared by the House but awaiting passage in the Senate, along with bills addressing climate change and health care. It passed 223-202, with 27 Democrats joining unanimous Republican opposition.

“We are sending a clear message to Wall Street: The party is over,— Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

She added: “This is the next critical step in an effort to rebuild our economy.—

Democratic leaders cast the measure as the most significant retooling of financial industry regulations since New Deal-era reforms. The bill establishes a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, toughens oversight of hedge funds and sets up a $150 billion industry fund to wind down failed firms that pose a risk to the market.