"I can't legislate integrity, I can't legislate wisdom, I can't legislate passion or competency," said the banking panel's chairman and the bill's co-author Chris Dodd of Connecticut. "What we can do is create the tools and the architecture to allow good people to do a good job on the behalf of the American public."
"I regret that it can't give you your job back, restore that foreclosed home, or put retirement money back in your account," he continued, "but what I can do is see to it that we never ever again have to go through what this nation has been through and that's what this effort has been about over the last several years."
Senate Majority Leader Reid highlighted that Democrats have managed to overcome the army of lobbyists that Wall Street spent millions of dollars to deploy to fight the bill inside the Beltway.
"Wall Street doesn't like the bill," Reid said. "Why would they? Why would they want us to change the system they rigged?"
"This," he said, "is about our ability to trust our financial system."
Democrats today accused Republicans of siding with Wall Street, rather than Main Street.
"This is very simply today a vote on one side, big banks with big bonuses. On the other side, the American people," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, "and the American people won and we're very very proud of that."
"You're either voting for the American people ... or you're voting for entrenched financial interests," said Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island.
However, some of the leading voices on economic and financial issues have said that the 2300-page bill does not go nearly far enough in cracking down on the ways of Wall Street.
Simon Johnson, a former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, recently blasted the Obama administration for "punting" on the bill.
"This administration and this Congress had ample opportunity to confront this problem and at least wrestle hard with it," Johnson said in a blog post. "Some senators and representatives worked long and hard on precisely this issue. But the White House punted, repeatedly, and elected instead for a veneer of superficial tweaking. Welcome to the next global credit cycle – with too big to fail banks at center stage."
Moreover, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released earlier this week found that just 44 percent approve of the President's work on Wall Street reforms.