Under the deal among key lawmakers, the Treasury secretary would get $250 billion immediately and could have an additional $100 billion if he certified it was needed, an approach designed to give lawmakers a stronger hand in controlling the unprecedented rescue. Aides described the details on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The plan's centerpiece still is for the government to buy the toxic, mortgage-based assets of shaky financial institutions in a bid to keep them from going under and setting off a cascade of ruinous events, including wiped-out retirement savings, rising home foreclosures, closed businesses, and lost jobs.

A group of GOP lawmakers circulated a less government-focused alternative. Their proposal would have the government provide insurance to companies that agree to hold frozen assets, rather than have the government purchase the assets. Rep Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the idea would be to remove the burden of the bailout from taxpayers and place it, over time, on Wall Street instead.

Among other changes agreed to by the congressional negotiators was a limit on pay for executives of bailed-out financial institutions and an equity stake in rescued companies for the government.

Despite the Republican outcry, Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Republican Sen. Bob Bennett, among others, said the negotiators from Congress and the administration had arrived at a deal that could win approval. Other key lawmakers said that after days of bare-knuckles negotiations there was little of note left to resolve.

Wall Street showed its pleasure — before the negative Republican comments started piling up. The Dow Jones industrials closed some 196 points higher, though that was down from larger gains earlier in the day.

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