Sidestepping a confrontation with Congress, Freddie Mac Chairman Leland Brendsel said his agency would adjust for declines in home prices in 1993 and 1994 before raising its loan ceiling next year.

But a key lawmaker, Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., promised to keep the spotlight on the underlying issue of whether Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's growth is unfairly encroaching on what he called "free market suppliers" of mortgage credit - banks and thrifts.

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