Student Loan-Highway Bill Passes Congress

The federal transportation bill is ready for President Barack Obama's signature. The U.S. Senate passed the $120-billion package 74-19 on June 29. The House had previously approved the measure 373-52.

The legislation also includes provisions for keeping student loan interest rates low and reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Mississippi's senators characterized the bill as step forward for state transportation projects that need federal funding.

“It is not perfect legislation, but it is better than another short-term extension," Republican Sen. Thad Cochran said in a statement.

Cochran said the bill helps Mississippi by providing funding to rural public schools, improving roadways, supporting county services, and relaxing regulations on farm vehicles.

Sen. Roger Wicker, also a Republican and Cochran's junior counterpart, called the bill "important for Mississippi’s economy.”

“The highway bill ensures that needed repairs to our nation’s infrastructure can continue, and a five-year flood insurance plan should provide certainty to homeowners. Congress needs to address several significant challenges over the coming months. The bipartisan cooperation that led to this package should be an outline for future work," Wicker said in a news release.


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