WASHINGTON — As President Obama's regulatory reform proposal sputters, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair stepped up with an alternative strategy Thursday that dodges many major political obstacles and could rally support for the plan.

Bair continued to argue that a regulatory council, not the Federal Reserve Board, should oversee systemic risk and countered criticisms leveled against the council by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Most members of the Senate Banking Committee endorsed her approach at a hearing Thursday, showing it is attracting broad bipartisan support. The FDIC chief also suggested a new way to structure a proposed consumer protection agency that would likely ease the banking industry's objections.

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