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McConnell: Candidates helped discussions

  |   Sept. 26, 2008 at 1:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday the presidential candidates' presence in Washington helped push lawmakers forward on the economic crisis.

McConnell, R-Ky., met with reporters to announce he designated Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., as the Senate Republicans' negotiator in discussions between lawmakers and the Bush administration on the $700 billion bailout plan for the U.S. financial system.

"We need to get the substance of the package right, but also do it quickly," McConnell told reporters.

"(Both) presidential candidates believe that we ought to get it resolved, that we ought to do it on a bipartisan basis, and do it quickly."

Gregg said the return of Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Barack Obama, D-Ill., "significantly moved the process along," McConnell said. "They got us and the American people focused on the seriousness of the issue."

"You can't understate the significance of this problem, and the problem really goes directly to Main Street," Gregg said. While progress has been made, "there are still knotty and difficult issues to deal with. We're going to work through them."

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