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U.S. Senate Passes Major Wall Street Reforms Bill

President Obama must sign the bill into law

President Obama must sign the bill into law

The United States Senate has approved a bill that would impose the most far-reaching restraints on big banks and other firms since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Senate on May 20 passed the bill by 59 votes in favor, to 39 against.

It must now be merged with a version from the House Of Representatives, before a single bill can be approved and sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. Obama has praised the bill, saying it would hold financial firms accountable but not stifle America's free-market system.

Obama added that financial industry lobbyists had tried but failed to kill the legislation. The legislation aims to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 meltdown of some big Wall Street investment banks and the resulting costly bailouts funded by taxpayers.

It calls for new rules for transactions blamed for helping precipitate the 2008 crisis, and makes it easier for authorities to liquidate large failing financial firms.

compiled from agency reports