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Two senior U.S. senators on Monday proposed creating a special committee to conduct a sweeping investigation of America's financial crisis -- from record home foreclosures to shrinking retirement accounts.


In a joint statement, the offices of Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan said the panel is "needed to restore the confidence of the American people in the economy."

McCain and Dorgan plan to hold a news conference on Tuesday to announce legislation to establish such a panel. Aides said it would have subpoena power, hold public hearings, and be headed by the two senators.

The Democratic-led Senate is expected to approve the proposed panel. Such "select committees" have been formed to examine a number of matters, including the CIA's interrogation policies, missing American prisoners of war and the misuse of power by Republican President Richard Nixon that led to his resignation in August 1974.

McCain, his party's 2008 presidential candidate, and Dorgan, a member of the Democratic leadership, led an earlier probe that helped lead to the corruption conviction of Jack Abramoff, a congressional lobbyist who illegally showered lawmakers and their aides with gifts and favors.

The proposed panel would take a broad look at the financial crisis that has resulted in Washington shelling out hundreds of billions of dollars to shore up financial firms.


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