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Nelson Is a ‘Yes’ on Wall Street Overhaul

Sen. Ben Nelson announced Tuesday that he will indeed support a Wall Street regulatory bill, after raising doubts Monday about his willingness to provide his party with the 60th vote it needs to beat back a certain GOP filibuster attempt.

In a statement, the Nebraska Democrat said: “Nebraska taxpayers and all Americans are owed certainty that our financial regulatory system will prevent a repeat of our recent economic crisis. Nebraskans did not make these bad bets, nor did they act irresponsibly. We must [rein] in rash Wall Street behavior and appropriately regulate the financial services industries.”

The moderate Democrat added: “Nothing could be more important as Americans are still recovering from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It is in America’s best interests that risks to our financial system are indentified and addressed before they threaten our nation’s financial stability again. This bill will restore accountability and confidence in our financial system.”

But on Monday, Nelson refused to commit to supporting the measure and criticized provisions dealing with its consumer protection agency.

Nelson took pains in his statement to show there is local support for the measure, noting it is supported by the Nebraska Retail Federation, Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, Nebraska Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, Nebraska Restaurant Association, Nebraska Rural Electric Association and Nebraska Farmers Union.

Nelson’s support appears to ensure that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will have 60 votes for the bill when he brings it up this week, as expected. The bill is viewed as critical for Democrats hoping to rack up some accomplishments this year.

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