Of particular concern to Weissman and others is that the bill does not solve the problem of financial institutions that are "too big to fail," like AIG, which taxpayers had to bail out at a cost of $200 billion.
"We had a direct chance to deal with this most central problem ... a far-too-large financial industry that's dominated by a handful of goliath institutions," said Weissman. "And the Senate chose not to take the proper action on behalf of the public and to instead side with the Wall Street firms and the giant banks."
Weissman and others have also criticized the legislation for failing to shore up restrictions on derivatives. While the Senate bill creates new rules for derivatives, like requiring that deals be made on a public exchange, it does not provide an enforcement mechanism, which legislators say will be fixed by the conference committee.
Still, experts say the new derivatives rules are a big improvement.
"It's going to bring a lot more sunshine, a lot more daylight to derivatives," said White.