House passes transportation bill, extends student loan rates

By Web Producer

June 29, 2012 Updated Jun 29, 2012 at 7:42 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Bipartisan work in Congress Friday will create more jobs.

The bill passed in both the House and Senate extends the current student loan rate for one year, flood insurance is secured through 2017, and the highway bill is extended until September 2014.

The transportation part of the bill notably excludes the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Senator Dick Durbin (D) said its estimated to create or maintain three million jobs nationwide.

"This has been a hard-fought bill but I'm glad we won with a good bi-partisan outcome," said Durbin, "61,000 jobs in Illinois are associated with highway construction. We need those jobs now more than ever. Passing this bi-partisan bill in a timely basis will keep people working, will put new people to work, and build the infrastructure we need for a strong economy for years to come."

Illinois will benefit with an average of nearly $1.4 billion a year in federal highway funding.

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon (D) said she is excited about what the transportation bill could mean for Illinois' economic recovery.

"We seem to be in a recovery, but its not as fast as anyone would like. All of us know someone who is unemployed or under-employed. And I'd like to see us get a little more ahead of steam on our economy," said Simon.

The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature.

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