Congress has passed a massive measure that will salvage some 2.8 million jobs and shield college students from sharply higher interest rates on college loans. The bill would also shore up the federal flood insurance program.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 74-19. The House passed the bill earlier in the day and it now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.
The bill would spend more than $100 billion on highway and transit programs over two years. The measure would also prevent a doubling of interest rates on new student loans scheduled to go into effect on Sunday.
A requirement that the government approve the contentious Keystone XL pipeline was dropped from the measure. (AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement after the Senate and House approved a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program, prevents college student loan interest rates from doubling and creates or saves nearly three million jobs. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 74-19.
"This legislation proves that when Republicans decide to work with Democrats, we can do a lot to move our economy forward. Thanks to this bipartisan agreement, seven million college students will not see their education costs rise by a thousand dollars next year. Because of this compromise, millions of workers in the transportation and construction industries know that their jobs will not disappear.
"In the coming weeks, we should remain focused on legislation that creates jobs and helps our economic recovery. Wasting precious time fighting old legislative battles does not create jobs. I hope this bipartisan cooperation will continue as we move forward with a tax cut for small business owners that will spur job creation and boost the middle class."
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:15 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:15:50 GMT
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