WASHINGTON -- Another private-sector lobby has joined the battle to stop the Federal Reserve from bidding against banks on a contract to set up and operate the Treasury Department's federal electronic payments system.

The National Taxpayers Union, a Washington tax lobby, entered the fray alongside House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez, the National Automated Clearing House Association, and some big-bank interests - powerful allies in the debate over the fairness of a Fed bid.

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