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Republicans Allow Financial Reform Debate

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After resisting Democrats attempts to start debate on a financial overhaul bill for a third time earlier on Wednesday, Senate Republicans are now signaling that they'll allow that debate to begin.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky cited assurances from Democrats that amendments will be considered during the floor debate. Democrats had threatened to keep the Senate in session throughout the night to highlight what they say was Republican stonewalling.

As the New York Times reports, the Republican reversal suggests "they saw political peril in being seen as impeding tougher rules for Wall Street."

Still McConnell insists the stalling tactics were "instrumental in gaining assurances from [Democrats] that changes will be made to end taxpayer bailouts and the dangerous notion that certain financial institutions are too big to fail."

President Obama says he's pleased Senate Republicans are agreeing to allow the debate to go forward.Obama says the bill will end government-sponsored Wall Street bailouts and make banks accountable to consumers. Speaking in Illinois on the second day of a two-day Midwest tour, Obama says "the time for reform is now."