WASHINGTON - Lawmakers and regulators sparred Wednesday over legislation that would merge the federal agencies that supervise Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan banks.

Democrats insisted during a House Banking capital markets subcommittee hearing that there is no reason to act quickly on a bill introduced by Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., that would consolidate the regulators of these quasi-governmental enterprises that serve the housing markets, and impose other reforms.

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