The cost of subsidizing the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be accounted for in the federal budget as if they were federal agencies, the Congressional Budget Office argues in a new report — an accounting change that would add nearly $400 billion to the growing national deficit.

The Obama administration has argued that only cash the Treasury Department pumps directly into Fannie and Freddie — about $95.6 billion since the mortgage guarantors were placed into conservatorship in September 2008 — should be included as budget expenditures.

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