Lawmakers Close to Making Deals on Transportation and Student Loans
Senate negotiators reached a tentative deal to fund a one-year, $6 billion extension of the current interest rate of 3.4 percent for new Stafford loans. This would affect 7.4 million students. Jon Kyl said: "We've reached an agreement on the (student loan) bill, and the only thing that would be holding that up is the politics of the highway bill." Senate aides said the two bills could be combined, passed together, and presented to President Barack Obama to sign into law as a package within days, if Republicans in the House would play along. One major stumbling block remained: how to deal with the approval of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada to Texas as part of the highway bill.