WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress gave final approval on Friday to a massive job-creating U.S. transportation bill that under a bipartisan deal will also keep interest rates low for millions of federal student loans and maintain federal flood insurance.
The Republican-led House of Representatives and Democratic-led Senate passed the measure on back-to-back votes, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign it into law.
WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress was poised
on Friday to approve compromise legislation to fund
transportation programs for two more years, keep loan rates low
for millions of students, and maintain national flood insurance.
The bill came together this week, as lawmakers calculated
the election-year impact of continued gridlock on measures
affecting jobs, soaring consumer debt, and help for people who
need government underwriting for flood risk to buy a home.
WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) – Congressional negotiators
have cleared the way for votes on legislation covering
transportation construction, student loan rates, and flood
insurance after finalizing a compromise agreement on how to pay
for those priorities.
The House and Senate were set to consider the measure on
Friday, one day before temporary funding for highway, bridge and
transit projects was to expire and three days before an increase
in federal student loan rates was set to take effect.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress could begin voting as early as Thursday on a funding package covering highway construction, student loans, and flood insurance after reaching agreement this week on how to pay for the programs.
The agreement came just days before federal funding for transportation programs is set to expire, and ahead of a hike in interest rates on federal loans for college students.
WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – A Republican proposal
forcing quick approval of the Canada-to-U.S. Keystone oil
pipeline will not be part of a massive transportation funding
bill the U.S. Congress is trying to pass by week’s end, a senior
Democratic aide said on Wednesday.
“Keystone is out,” said the aide, who asked not to be
identified. The aide added that while House-Senate negotiators
are close to an overall deal on the transportation bill, they
have not yet wrapped it up.
WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – U.S. congressional leaders
said they were optimistic that final hours of talks on Wednesday
on a two-year, $109 billion funding package for roads, bridges
and mass transit would yield a deal, but warned their work was
not yet finished.
Federal funding for highway projects is set to expire on
Saturday, but it was still unclear whether lawmakers could reach
a compromise on thorny details about environmental regulations
and the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.
WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – For most of this year, the
threat of tough U.S. sanctions on Iran, the world’s
third-largest oil exporter, helped push crude oil prices higher
and higher, adding a menacing headwind for struggling global
But in the past few weeks, a combination of higher output
from Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia and economic troubles in China
and Europe have pushed oil prices down 25
percent, putting the threat of sanctions back squarely on Iran.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional negotiators neared a pair of election-year deals on Tuesday – one for a massive job-creating transportation bill, the other to prevent a doubling of student-loan interest rates, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid, a Democrat, said it was possible that final bipartisan agreements could be reached on both long-stalled pieces of legislation before lawmakers leave at week’s end for a holiday recess.
WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican
negotiators neared a pair of election-year deals on Tuesday -
one for a massive transportation bill, the other to prevent a
doubling of interest rates on federal student loans, said U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid, a Democrat, said it was
possible that final bipartisan agreements could be reached on
both long-stalled pieces of legislation before lawmakers leave
at the end of the week for a holiday recess.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday odds are better than even that lawmakers can reach a last-minute compromise on a transportation spending package, but said it is up to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to make the deal happen.
Federal funding for road, bridge and rail projects – and as many as 3 million construction jobs – expires on Saturday, putting lawmakers under pressure to either come to an agreement on a two-year package proposed by the Senate, or craft a short-term extension at current funding levels.