Highway bill and student loan rates extension

By WEEK Producer

June 27, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 2:25 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There is a tentative agreement on a federal transportation bill, and it's being tied to another down-to-the-wire piece of legislation.

Student loan rates and a highway bill have been tied together.

The tentative agreement on a multibillion-dollar transportation bill aimed boosting the nation's economy is almost a done deal.

"We're moving, I think, towards an agreement. A lot of work that's gone into this. It's not finished yet," said House Speaker John Boehner (R).

Boehner also said the bill would "focus our highway dollars on fixing America's highways, not planting more flowers around the country."

Congress is up against a Friday deadline. That's when the government's authority to collect gas taxes and fund transportation projects expires.

A measure to prevent a doubling in student loan interest rates for 7 million college students is expected to be wrapped into the transportation bill.

With no deal, student loan rates double on Monday to 6.4%

The highway bill would only keep transportation spending at current levels through the end of fiscal year 2014. It is not the long-term spending package many have called for.

"Congress never gets everything done, but they'll get just enough done to justify punting a few things over until later in the summer," said Marty Kady, Politico.

Washington is expected to be taken up with reaction to whatever the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare, Thursday.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.