Angered by an advertising campaign against the flat tax launched by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Iowa and New Hampshire, the House majority leader has asked the General Accounting Office whether the housing finance agencies can be banned from lobbying and other political activities.

The request, sent in a Feb. 16 letter, is the latest sign that the agencies may have unwittingly made a powerful enemy of the majority leader, Rep. Richard Armey, R-Tex., through their defense of the mortgage interest deduction.

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