Republican presidential hopeful John McCain will speak in
Milwaukee this morning at a closed session with CEOs and business leaders from
across the state to discuss economic markets in the U.S. and international
arena.

The event at Bucyrus International, a world leader in mining
equipment production, comes one day after the Arizona senior senator’s tax day
economy address at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

In his speech, McCain offered both short and long-term
solutions and called for a summer-long suspension of the federal gasoline tax
and several cuts aimed at the troubled economy.

“In so many ways, we need to make a clean break from
the worst excesses of both political parties,” McCain told the audience at
Carnegie Mellon University. “Somewhere along the way, too many Republicans
in Congress became indistinguishable from the big-spending Democrats they used
to oppose.”

McCain urged Congress to institute a “gas-tax
holiday” by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel
tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The federal government would lose about $10
billion in revenue with the plan by some estimates. He also renewed his call
for the nation to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and thus
lessening to some extent the worldwide demand for oil.

In the long term, McCain offered plans aimed at helping the
middle class and eliminating wasteful spending by raising the tax exemption for
each dependent child from $3,500 to $7,000, among other tax adjustments.

According to McCain spokesperson Crystal Benton, the event
in Milwaukee will address many of the senator’s remarks about long-term
initiatives with the leaders to help grow the economy and their businesses.

“It’s an interactive follow-up to his economic policy
[Tuesday],” Benton told The Badger Herald. “It’s a bit different than
a regular speech with two roundtables where he will be addressing the
challenges and opportunity of doing business in the economic market.”

Included in the 12-person panels will be notable CEOs from
across the state including Kendall Powell, CEO of General Mills and Jim Haney,
President of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Mike Knetter, dean of the University of Wisconsin School of
Business and previously an economic advisor for Presidents George H.W. Bush and
Bill Clinton, will join two other UW graduates in the small group of business
leaders.

Knetter’s inclusion, along with the other CEOs who started
at UW, represents an acknowledgment of the university’s contribution to the
state’s business success, according to business school spokesperson Melissa
Anderson.

“The university has been a beacon of the state for job
training and getting folks into quality high-paying jobs,” Anderson said.
“We’re really driving the innovation necessary for new job creation and
business creation.”

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–?? The Associated
Press contributed to this report.