Lawmakers closed in on a final Wall Street reform bill early Friday after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) agreed to a compromise with moderate House Democrats on her derivatives regulation bill – clearing the way for the broadest rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations since the Great Depression.
A House-Senate conference committee prepared to complete work on a final deal on the bill – which would send it back to both chambers on its way to President Barack Obama’s desk.
The agreement would come after almost 24 straight hours of work in the conference committee, a marathon session that tested the negotiating skills, patience and endurance of several dozen lawmakers tasked with reconciling two competing approaches to reining in Wall Street.
The final piece of the deal fell into place around 3:30 a.m., as Lincoln agreed to limit the reach of new derivatives rules to only the riskiest investments, a move to mollify New York lawmakers and moderate Democrats who feared the original plan would cripple Wall Street.
“All day we've been talking to folks, throughout the process, listening to concerns. We feel this still accomplishes our goal and it's something we can find agreement on in the caucus,” a Lincoln aide said. “But Chairman Lincoln's position was that she was not going to doing anything to gut the provision and [this compromise] preserves the intent.”