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Lautenberg Pitches In to Help Retire Clinton’s Debt

Former presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has enlisted Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) to help her pay off nearly $24 million in debt from her shuttered White House campaign.

The two lawmakers filed paperwork on Thursday with the Internal Revenue Service, registering a joint fundraising committee that treasurer Peter Nichols confirmed was to help Clinton retire her presidential campaign debt and help Lautenberg raise money for his 2008 re-election bid.

The Garden State Senator, who defeated Rep. Robert Andrews (D) in last June’s primary, is heavily favored to win a fifth term this November against former Rep. Dick Zimmer (R-N.J.). As of July 1, Lautenberg had $1.3 million in cash and carried nearly $3 million in debt.

Clinton, who is not up for re-election in the Senate until 2012, very publicly dug into her own pockets to make payroll and finance her massive political operation when fundraising fell short during the presidential primaries earlier this year. All told, through Aug. 1 Clinton lent her campaign more than $13 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.