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Harm to Reagan Seen by Baker as Not Irreparable

March 05, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.), moving quickly to mend the Administration's tattered relations with Congress, said Wednesday that President Reagan has been hurt by the Iran- contra affair but that the damage is "not irreparable by any means."

In a round of meetings with leaders of the House and Senate, Baker said he is "off to a fast start" as White House chief of staff and plans to impress on the Administration the importance of maintaining "amiable and favorable" relations with Congress.

At the same time, he said his main task is to help Reagan achieve his goals.

"I'm not running the country, you know better than that," Baker said, as he spoke with reporters in the office of Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.).

At one meeting, Baker said: "One of my highest priorities is to make sure we have a broad working relationship between the White House and the Congress. I understand the importance of that almost more than anyone."

He said he wants to "make sure the White House understands the workings of the Congress."

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