Washington (CNN ) - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson announced Friday that he would be supporting the motion to proceed that would allow the Senate to begin debate on the Democrats' health care reform legislation.
"Throughout my Senate career I have consistently rejected efforts to obstruct," he said in a statement. "That's what the vote on the motion to proceed is all about. It is not for or against the new Senate health care bill released Wednesday. It is only to begin debate and an opportunity to make improvements. If you don't like a bill why block your own opportunity to amend it?"
The Nebraska Democrat sounded a positive note Thursday after emerging from a meeting with Reid and other moderate Democratic holdouts in the Senate Majority Leader's office, although he told CNN then he was withholding his final decision on the motion to proceed until he had a chance to "study (the bill) or at least review it to begin with."
He said there had been concerns about the length of time the bill would be made public before the final vote, and whether it would be read on the floor - but that it appeared Reid had largely satisfied his concerns on those issues.
Nelson also said the meeting did not include discussion of any of the specifics regarding abortion language, the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry, and other issues of concern to him.
–CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report