A major revision of federal financial regulations has cleared its final congressional hurdle, with the Senate's approval on July 15 of the wide-ranging measure. The bill, named for its main authors, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), now goes to the White House.
President Obama is expected to sign the legislation during the week of July 19, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said.
Senate passage came on a 60-39 vote as Republicans Scott Brown (Mass.) and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine, joined 57 Democrats to vote in favor of the bill. The only Democrat to oppose the measure was Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
Some observers contend that the Dodd-Frank bill's additional regulations and fees charged to banks could further chill lending, which has been tight in construction and other sectors.
American Bankers Association President and CEO Edward Yingling said, "While [the bill's] core provisions provide needed reform, it is overloaded with new rules and restrictions on traditional banks that did not cause the financial crisis."
He said the legislation "will have a considerable impact on the broader economy and the capability of traditional banks to provide the credit needed to create jobs and drive economic growth."
But Dodd says, "I think the arguments about the shrinking of credit availability are hyperbole." He adds, "I don't believe you're going to see that level that the opponents of this bill are suggesting."
Dodd says, "We had too much credit in the marketplace, to some degree, that contributed to the problem," referring to the financial crisis that hit in late 2008. "Frankly, you need higher capital standards."