Sen. Richard Shelby, the Banking Committee's top Republican, said in an interview Thursday that he would eventually like to spin off the government-sponsored enterprises and privatize them, but that doing so will take a lot of time and money.

The "GSEs are in our lap," the Alabama lawmaker said. "You know, we own them. I would like to see them cleared up and spun off, whatever, see if anybody wants them. It's going to take a lot of money. There's a lot of guarantee out there. It's not implicit; it's explicit."

When asked if he was saying he wants to privatize the GSEs, Shelby confirmed he does.

"That's what I'd like to see done with them, because if you create a hybrid deal like this it's never worked."

The Obama administration is expected to unveil its proposal for the GSEs in its 2011 budget, which is scheduled to come out Monday. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government and put into conservatorship during the height of the financial crisis in September 2008.

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