After being derided as a “do-nothing” Congress, the House and Senate were poised to vote on a massive legislative package that overhauls highway and transit programs, salvages an estimated 3 million jobs and spares millions of students from higher interest rates on college loans, the Associated Press reports.
Congressional leaders were pushing for quick action Friday on the package, which also would financially shore up the federal flood insurance program. Two deadlines are looming: Federal highway and transit aid programs and the government’s authority to levy federal fuel taxes expire on Saturday, and interest rates on new student loans are set to double on Sunday. Lawmakers also were anxious to begin a weeklong recess.
The burst of legislating comes just four months before the November elections, giving lawmakers achievements to show off to voters who have increasingly held Congress in low esteem.
“It’s a jobs bill,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who led Senate negotiations on the transportation portion of the package.