Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have staved off an effort by lawmakers to impose a multibillion-dollar tax on debt sales by the agencies to fund a massive transportation bill, sources said Wednesday.

Lawmakers began mulling a plan late last week to raise $4.5 billion to $6 billion over five years by charging Fannie and Freddie a 20-basis-point fee on long- and short-term debt issued to investors. An alternative imposing a lower fee would have raised $1 billion over the same period.

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