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President Bush on Thursday sought to highlight the effect of the credit crisis on average businesses, part of an effort by the White House to rebrand the $700 billion financial system bailout bill as a measure designed to help Main Street, not Wall Street.

Bush convened a meeting of small- and medium-sized-business executives at the White House to talk about the problems they are having getting credit needed to run their businesses. Bush, who spoke afterward to reporters, portrayed their problems as average workers’ problems, saying “people’s jobs are in jeopardy.”

“This issue has gone way beyond New York and Wall Street,” Bush said. “A lot of people are watching the House of Representatives now to determine whether or not they will be able to act positively on a bill that has been improved,” Bush said, pointing to a provision raising the size of deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The president then dispatched the business leaders to Capitol Hill to share their woes with lawmakers.

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