WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders are hoping for final passage this week of a bill reshaping federal transportation programs and averting a doubling of interest rates for millions of federal student loans.
Lawmakers and aides said House and Senate leaders had reached agreement on the measure.
Without action by the weekend, federal authority to spend money for road and other transportation programs would lapse, and interest rates for new subsidized Stafford loans would double to 6.8 percent.
Democrats said renewing the highway bill would save or create 3 million jobs.
If student loan interest rates grew, it would affect an estimated 7.4 million students projected to get the loans over the next 12 months.
Congressional leaders also were interested in including provisions revamping the nation's flood insurance program.
The Associated Press