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Ben Nelson is unfamiliar with ATM fees because he’s never used an ATM.

By Pat Garofalo on May 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

"Ben Nelson is unfamiliar with ATM fees because he’s never used an ATM."

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has been unsuccessfully trying to get the Senate to vote on an amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill that would cap ATM fees at 50 cents. Part of the Senate’s disinterest, according to the Omaha World Herald, may be that senators haven’t experienced coughing up a few dollars to withdraw money. The paper reported today that at least one senator, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), claims that “while he’s no fan of unnecessary fees, he’s unfamiliar with the charges” because he’s never used an ATM:

“I’ve never used an ATM, so I don’t know what the fees are,” Nelson said, adding that he gets his cash from bank tellers, just not automatic ones. “It’s true, I don’t know how to use one.” “But I could learn how to do it just like I’ve…I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.

By “holograms,” Nelson clarified that he meant the bar codes on products read by automatic scanners in the checkout lanes at stores such as Lowe’s and Menard’s. “I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane,” Nelson said. “I mean, I’m not without some skills. I just haven’t had the need to use an ATM.”

As the World Herald noted, there is an ATM in the basement of the Capitol Building “which prominently displays one of those ‘Fee Notice’ signs that frustrate so many constituents.” Making a withdrawal from it with a card not issued by the U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union costs $2. (HT: Nico Pitney)

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