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Financial reform could be signed by July 4

June 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama could sign sweeping financial reform legislation by July 4, the White House said.

The House and Senate are set to vote next week on the legislation after a 20-hour marathon negotiation between leaders seeking to reconcile separate versions, The Washington Post reported.

Obama praised lawmakers who worked out the compromise, saying the bill included "90 percent of what I proposed when I took up this fight" for what he said will be "the toughest financial reform since the ones we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression."

The compromise retains the "Volcker" rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, which forbids banks to make risky bets with their own funds. Under that provision, a source told The Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. could be forced to cut $15.4 billion in investments it has made with its own money to as little as $2.1 billion.

Vikram Pandit, the chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., said in a statement that despite "aspects of the legislation which are different from what we would have preferred," the bank hopes "this agreement will provide direction and stability for the financial system."

Obama predicted the compromise legislation would pass the Senate, which approved an earlier version 59-39 on May 20, with support from four Republicans.

The measure is expected to pass in the House this week, but it faces a bigger challenge in the Senate, where it needs the support of at least one Republican for a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., has suggested he might withdraw his support after voting with Democrats to pass the Senate bill in May, the Journal said.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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