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Brown Announces Support for Financial Reform Bill

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) announced Monday that he will back legislation to reform the nation’s financial regulatory system after Democrats agreed to scrap a $19 billion tax on banks that he had opposed.

Brown’s support will likely clear the way for passage of the financial reform bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been trying to corral 60 votes for the House-Senate conference report on the measure. The Senate version of the package cleared with Brown’s support on May 20.

Brown said that after reviewing the conference report over the July Fourth recess, he decided to support it. Conferees decided to pull a controversial $19 billion bank tax from the measure amid opposition from some Republicans, including Brown.

“I’ve spent the past week reviewing the Wall Street reform bill. I appreciate the efforts to improve the bill, especially the removal of the $19 billion bank tax,” Brown said. “As a result, it is a better bill than it was when this whole process started. While it isn’t perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote. It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected, and it is paid for without new taxes.”

But Brown reiterated that additional reforms are needed to the system, including those to deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Brown said his support for the bill “doesn’t mean our work is done. Further reforms are still needed to address the government’s role in the financial crisis, including significant changes to the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate.”

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