[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/25/art.wallstreet.0623r.gi.jpg caption=" A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted in late May indicated that a growing number of Americans support increased federal regulation over Wall Street banks and other financial institutions."]Washington (CNN) - A growing number of Americans appear to support a key provision in the financial reform legislation that Congress has moved a step closer to final passage.
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.
Hours later, President Barack Obama praised Congress.
The measure includes the "toughest financial reforms" since the Great Depression, said Obama.
It represents "90 percent of what I proposed when I took up this fight." The compromise plan "will hold Wall Street accountable," added the president.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted late last month indicated that a growing number of Americans support increased federal regulation over Wall Street banks and other financial institutions. Six out of ten people questioned in the poll said they favor the legislation, with 38 percent opposed. Support for the bill was up seven points from March, and opposition was down five points.
"Higher-income Americans appear more likely to support the bill than those who make less than $50,000 a year. Stricter financial regulations are popular with Democrats and independents; a bare majority of Republicans oppose that legislation," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
A USA Today/Gallup survey conducted earlier this month also indicated that a majority of the public supported expanding government regulation of major financial institutions.
The legislation aims to stop bailouts, shine a light on complex financial products, and strengthen consumer protection. The bill would establish a consumer financial protection regulatory agency that could write new rules to protect consumers from unfair or abusive mortgages and credit cards.
It would also create a council of regulators that would sound an alarm before companies are in position to trigger a financial crisis. The bill would also establish new procedures for shutting down giant financial firms that are collapsing.
The House, last year, and the Senate, last month, passed different versions of the legislation.
–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and CNNMoney.com’s Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report