Washington (CNNMoney.com) - After a grueling 20-hour session, lawmakers early Friday finished melding the House and Senate Wall Street reform bills, bringing Congress closer to passing the most sweeping changes to the financial system since the New Deal.
Finishing at 5:39 a.m. ET, 43 lawmakers agreed to send to their respective chambers a final bill that aims to strengthen consumer protection, shine a light on complex financial products, create a new process for taking down giant, failing financial firms, and make them stronger to prevent such failure.
The votes were 20-11 among House negotiators and 7-5 among Senate negotiators, strictly along party lines. The room erupted into claps and hugs when it was all done, with staffers shaking hands and saying, "big bill."
Related: What's in the reform bill?
In one of their final votes, lawmakers renamed the legislation the Dodd-Frank Bill for the lawmakers who led the work on the reforms: Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. The chamber erupted in cheers on the motion's approval.
"It's the most extraordinary experience," Frank said. "You hate to have the kind of pain that so many people went through in this economic crisis, but it just doubled our resolve to get it done."
Frank and Dodd insisted on pushing forward and wrapping up the negotiations, to ready the bill for final passage by each chamber before Congress adjourns for the Independence Day recess.