Obama: GOP backed down on Wall Street

Republicans were forced to "back down" from blocking Wall Street reform, according to a fundraising letter sent by the president.

In the e-mail to his supporters, President Barack Obama wrote that pressure on lawmakers forced Republicans to "back down" from blocking the legislation, which the Senate passed Thursday.

"This movement proved again that the strongest special interests, who for so long have called the shots in Washington, can be beat," he wrote. "When opponents in Congress tried to block the legislation altogether, you stood up -- and they backed down. When the lobbyists pushed for loopholes and exemptions just before a final vote, you did not relent -- and we fought them off."

Heading into the midterm elections, Democrats are looking to capitalize on momentum following the passage of the bill imposing new regulations on the financial services industry. 

Several Republicans helped Democrats pass the bill.

Three Republicans -- Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and Scott Brown (Mass.) crossed the aisle to vote to break a filibuster of the bill. Brown cited assurances he received from Democratic leaders, and phone calls to his senatorial office, in his decision to vote for the bill.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined them in voting for final passage. No House Republicans voted for the lower chamber's bill last year. 

Cross-posted from the Briefing Room