Washington (CNNMoney.com) – The Senate passed late Thursday night the most sweeping regulatory overhaul of the financial system since the New Deal.
The bill, which passed 59-39, imposes more oversight and stronger capital cushions for the largest banks and Wall Street firms, while aiming to stop bailouts, shine a light on complex financial products and strengthen consumer protection.
The bill only needed 51 votes to pass. Earlier in the evening, the bill cleared a tougher hurdle, a 60 vote threshold, ending a filibuster against stopping debate.
"We've made great progress ... it's been hard to get to this point," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "It's been a good debate. It's been the way the Senate should operate more often than it has."
Senate passage marks the last tough hurdle for financial overhaul which has been more than a year in the making. The bill will now be reconciled with the House version in "conference" negotiations, where differences are ironed out. Then both chambers vote again and send the compromised bill to the president.