Lott, McCain meet on campaign finance reform
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Sen. John McCain sat down together Thursday in an attempt to hash out a floor schedule for the Arizona senator's campaign finance reform bill.
McCain, R-Arizona, has promised to push for legislation to curb the flow of campaign cash the week of January 22, and the senators were trying to brook a compromise on bringing the bill to the Senate floor without disrupting the first week of George W. Bush's presidency.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona
"We sort of talked about the issue and how we all want to try to work
together so that this doesn't interfere with President-elect Bush's agenda and
that's my goal as well," McCain said following the meeting with Lott, R-Mississippi.
Although no agreement was reached, one staffer in the meeting said the two
senators were "as cordial as I've ever seen them."
The Senate Republican leadership opposes McCain's efforts to reform the
way campaigns are funded, and has blocked the legislation in the past.
But McCain and his supporters say they now have enough votes to overcome
procedural roadblocks and pass their legislation, which would force Bush to
decide whether to sign a bill most Republicans oppose early in his
"He is more accepting of the reality he has to work with us," a
McCain aide said of Lott, "we may not be first, but we'll be early."
McCain emerged from the meeting feeling that he will soon get a
commitment that he will have a chance to bring legislation for a vote "soon,
meaning a matter of weeks, not months," according to aides.
The substance of the bill -- whether it will be a ban on unregulated money
to parties, disclosure of donors, -- is a major issue McCain must work out
with the GOP leadership.
Lott told reporters they came to "no final decisions, we're just exploring