WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve announced yesterday that it will buy commercial paper directly from issuers to provide liquidity to the short-term market, prompting officials from Massachusetts and other states to say they may push to participate in the program.

Fed and Treasury Department officials could not say definitively if tax-exempt commercial paper would be accepted under the program. But issuers, eager for relief from high, short-term borrowing costs, said the program should help stabilize the variable-rate market. They also said that the description of the program that the Fed issued yesterday can be interpreted to include municipal issuers.

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