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WASHINGTON — President Bush readied a prime time speech to the nation andof the financial industry on Wednesday as the administration scrambled to prevent further deterioration in the economy.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson accepted a major change in legislation for a $700 billion bailout
Republican officials said thatThey spoke on condition of anonymity because Paulson's decision had not been formally announced.
Paulson had bowed to demands from critics in both parties to limit the pay packages of executives whose companies benefit from the proposed bailout.
White House officials said Bush's speech would dwell on the financial crisis.
Press secretary Dana Perino said the president wants to tell the American people how the crisis affects them and help them understand the depth of the problem.
The developments came as the administration sought to overcome obstacles in Congress to speedy enactment of an unprecedented government bailout of the beleaguered financial industry.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday that
failure to act quickly could trigger deepening in the credit crisis that would lead to a recession, with rising unemployment and increased home foreclosures.
Appearing before lawmakers for the second day in a row, he added on Wednesday thatare under "extraordinary stress."
global financial markets
Paulson, who with Bernanke heard withering criticism of the bailout plan on Tuesday, met for the second consecutive day with House Republicans, some of whom have announced their opposition to any federal bailout of the private financial markets that form the backbone of American capitalism.