The House Financial Services Committee on Thursday took a major step forward by passing legislation that creates a new consumer financial protection agency.
The agency is a central plank in the Obama administration's plan to overhaul the financial system. The measure passed on a 39-29 vote. Reps. Walt Minnick (Idaho) and Travis Childers (Miss.) voted against the agency, the only Democrats opposed. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) was the only Republican to vote in support. Castle is running for Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: 'McCain is right: Need select committee' for Russia With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Obama defends healthcare law on eve of repeal vote MORE's old Senate seat.
The new agency would have power to regulate products such as home loans and credit cards, and has been vigorously opposed by the financial industry and Republicans.
The American Bankers Association (ABA), the nation's biggest banking lobby, applauded some of the changes to the bill, but remains opposed to the new agency.
President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaSpicer: Trump is 'very confident that he will be vindicated' on surveillance claims Bush DHS secretary: 'Vladimir Putin is winning' Trump ally calls for US to roll back climate commitment MORE released a statement praising the panel and scolding the financial sector and its lobbyists for trying to block regulatory reform.
Big financial firms and their lobbyists are mobilizing against change, Obama said, "descending on Congress, using every bit of influence they have to maintain the status quo that has maximized their profits at the expense of American consumers, despite the fact that recently those same American consumers bailed them out as a consequence of the bad decisions that they made."
He said his administration would continue to work with Congress to create a consumer agency with "clear rules of the road for financial products and sufficient authority and resources to enforce those rules across the entire market."
This story was updated at 1:06 p.m.