McCain presses administration to do more

Republican presidential candidate John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE on Tuesday pushed the Bush administration to do more to solve the financial crisis. 

Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, McCain blasted the absence of bipartisanship Monday, when the House failed to pass a $700 billion bailout package. However, he said, the administration already has authority to take at least two steps to help shore up the economy.

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McCain said he spoke with President Bush on Tuesday morning about asking the Treasury Department to “creatively” us the Exchange Stabilization Fund to back money market accounts. 

The Arizona senator added that he told the president he would like to see the Treasury use that authority “to provide backstop for accounts across our financial system to maintain confidence on the part of savers and investors.”

McCain also noted that the recently passed housing bill provided the administration with almost $1 trillion to purchase mortgages.

"Housing and mortgages are at the root of this crisis," McCain said. "I encourage Treasury to take action to shore up mortgage values.

"The administration can take these actions with the stroke of the pen to help alleviate the crisis gripping our economy," he added. "I urge them to do so."

Both candidates on Tuesday supported increasing the limits of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured accounts from $100,000 to $250,000.

"We cannot allow a crisis in our financial system to become a crisis in confidence," McCain said.

Bush, Obama and McCain all urged Congress to get back to the negotiating table when lawmakers return on Thursday.