Congress Passes Student Loan/Transportation Package

By: Friday June 29, 2012 12:58 pm

Congress has quickly passed a series of bills, consolidated into one package, that freezes federal student loan interest rates at 3.4% for one year, and extends surface transportation funding for two years. The package also reauthorizes the federal flood insurance program for five years. Congress was clearly eager to get out of town for the [...]

Environmentalists Don’t Like Concessions in Transportation Bill

By: Friday June 29, 2012 8:55 am

Lost in the shuffle yesterday amid the health care ruling and the contempt citation for Eric Holder was the deal reached on a minibus package for freezing student loan interest rates, extending surface transportation funding for two years, and reauthorizing for five years the flood insurance program. That package will get House and Senate votes [...]

In Bipartisan Deal, Congress to Package Student Loan, Transportation, Flood Insurance Bills

By: Thursday June 28, 2012 6:15 am

As we await the Supreme Court ruling on health care, two of the other major stories of the week have reached a conclusion. Congress has reached agreement on a compromise package that will avert three separate deadlines and deliver some of the more robust lawmaking of the entire year to date. The first bill averts [...]

Congress Nearing Compromise on Student Loan, Highway Bills, But Not There Yet

By: Wednesday June 27, 2012 8:59 am

House Speaker John Boehner assured reporters today that bipartisan deals are near on two pieces of legislation that must be passed before expiration on Saturday. The two bills, one to prevent the federal student loan interest rate from doubling, and the other to extend surface transportation funding for two years, have been tied up in [...]

Congress Could Combine Student Loan, Highway Funding Bills

By: Tuesday June 26, 2012 12:19 pm

There’s still been nary a peep from Congress on deals on the two major expiring measures that conclude at the end of the week, one on transportation funding and another on federal student loan interest rates. All we know is that Harry Reid has threatened to keep the Senate in session over the weekend to [...]

Decision Time Nears for Student Loan, Highway Bills

By: Friday June 22, 2012 9:35 am

I’ve been tracking the two deadlines for Congress coming up in just over a week. If no action is taken, new federal student loans will see an interest rate of 6.8%, double the current 3.4%. And there will be no surface transportation bill, meaning that highway projects with federal participation will grind to a halt [...]

Congressional Leadership Makes Last-Ditch Effort on Surface Transportation Bill

By: Wednesday June 20, 2012 11:35 am

Congressional leadership is getting antsy over the possibility of no highway bill for the year, and another in a series of extensions, which will likely depress construction spending and harm local vulnerable members back in their home district. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner asked both sides to iron out their [...]

Highway Bill Unlikely to Emerge from Conference Committee

By: Monday June 18, 2012 10:17 am

With two weeks until two key measures expire, Congress appears poised to do what it does best – absolutely nothing. At issue are the doubling of the student loan interest rate, and the surface transportation bill. Democrats and the White House seized on the student loan issue, getting Republicans to agree on the basic principle [...]

Congressional Gridlock Starting to Have Impact

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 9:40 am

I’ve spilled a lot of e-ink about the fiscal cliff, that looming set of expiring measures at the end of the year that will have a serious impact on fiscal policy, spending and taxes going forward. But there are quite a few policies that either expire or are urgently needed well before the end of [...]

Key Democrat: Keystone Pipeline Rider to Be Axed from Transportation Bill

By: Friday May 18, 2012 10:56 am

Right now, talks are continuing on a House-Senate conference committee on the surface transportation bill, which provides federal funding, paid for mostly by the gas tax, to highway and mass transit projects across the country. Congress has kicked this bill down the road many times, and the House and Senate versions of the bill vary [...]

Boehner Maneuvers for Conference Committee on Transportation Bill

By: Thursday April 19, 2012 10:15 am

Yesterday, the House passed yet another extension of the federal surface transportation bill. This one also goes for 90 days and would take the highway trust fund from June 30 to September 30, 2012. As expected, House Republicans attached some riders to the bill, including one that drew a White House veto threat. The extension [...]

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