WASHINGTON - Seeking support for his Glass-Steagall repeal bill, Rep. Jim Leach proposed lifting a $16 billion obligation from banks and thrifts and placing it on the shoulders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The House Banking Committee chairman surprised bank lobbyists Friday with the new plan for rescuing the thrift insurance fund. Though industry representatives praised the move, a number of lobbyists said it would be very difficult to stick the politically powerful government-sponsored enterprises with the tab.

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