OVERNIGHT MONEY: Senate focuses on student loans, transportation bills

"We’re pleased that the Senate has reached a deal to keep rates low and continue offering hard-working students a fair shot at an affordable education," the White House said in a statement. 

"We hope that Congress will complete the legislative process and send a bill to the president as soon as possible."

To cover the $6 billion price tag, premiums for federal pension insurance will be raised and part-time students at four-year schools will be limited to six years of federal subsidies. 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRepublicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Americans brimming with optimism on the economy McCain hopes Americans can be confident GOP-controlled Congress can investigate president MORE (R-Ky.) said final approval of student loan legislation, which would prevent rates on federal Stafford loans from doubling to 6.8 percent, depends on House Republicans.

“Sen. Reid and I have an understanding that we think will be acceptable to the House. That may or may not be coupled with the highway proposal over in the House,” said McConnell.

Earlier on Tuesday, Reid warned that a deal between the House and Senate on transportation funding needed to be finalized Wednesday — saying negotiators are close — to be approved by Congress in time to beat a June 30 deadline. 

"We have to have an agreement by tomorrow," Reid said Tuesday. "Otherwise, we can't get the bill done." 

With transportation and student loans edging closer to passage, Reid is giving senators another day to agree on which amendments to consider attaching to flood insurance legislation.

"Unfortunately, as has happened around here more often than I'd like, we haven't been able to reach an agreement because of, really, a small group of Republicans are stopping us from doing this," he said.


Fe fi fo fight: The House Financial Services Committee is set to mark up a bill on Wednesday that would trim a requirement that banks and credit unions must post signs announcing the fees they could be charged for using an ATM. Banks are pushing hard to scrap the placards, arguing that consumers get that information on the ATM screen, but consumer advocates want to keep that information available before a card goes into a teller machine. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking a look at whether the rule should remain, but lawmakers are looking to cut to the chase and eliminate the provision with Wednesday's markup, and the bill looks to be on its way, pulling in 127 co-sponsors from both parties.

Sequester assessment: The House Budget Committee on Wednesday will mark up a bill aimed at forcing the Obama administration to issue a detailed report on the effects of the $109 billion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 2. The seizing, or sequestration, of funds, as it is called, is set to take place to punish Congress for failing to agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts last year. The bill in Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanTrump’s feud with the press in the spotlight Republicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Graham: Ryan tax plan won’t get 10 votes in the Senate MORE's (R-Wis.) committee is similar to an amendment, sponsored by Sens. John McCainJohn McCainTrump’s feud with the press in the spotlight Republicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Graham: Free press and independent judiciary are worth fighting for MORE (R-Ariz.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurraySenate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Oprah's network provides Senate with tape of abuse allegations by Puzder's ex-wife: report How many GOP senators will stand up to megadonor DeVos? Just 2. MORE (D-Wash.) that was included in the 2012 farm bill, which passed the Senate last week. That bill has a reduced chance of passing any time soon, given the slow pace the House is moving to take up the farm bill, which has been delayed until July 11. 

Chopping block: The House Appropriations Committee will mark up the 2013 Interior and Environment spending bill on Wednesday, which cuts the Environmental Protection Agency budget by $1.4 billion, about 17 percent, compared with current funding. Funding cuts are aimed at blocking environmental regulations. In particular, the bill defunds attempts to apply greenhouse gas regulations to new power plants. Riders include one preventing EPA from expanding its authority to regulate "navigable waters" under the Clean Water Act. The committee is expected to approve the bill and send it to the floor. But it has no chance of becoming law without changes forged in a compromise with the Senate, which wants much higher funding.

Campaign season: Vice President Biden finishes up a two-day swing through Iowa on Wednesday, holding a pair of campaign events in what could be a hotly contested state this fall. 

On Tuesday, Biden hammered Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, for sending jobs overseas, a consistent theme for the Obama campaign in recent days. 

Talkin' taxes: A pair of House Ways and Means subcommittees is set to discuss whether refundable tax incentives for items like food and housing can make people less likely to want to find jobs. Some Republicans argue that the way certain tax benefits are scheduled penalize both work and marriage, and need to be tweaked.

Rep. Gwen MooreGwen MooreTrump to black reporter: Help me meet with Black Caucus Cummings: I will attend Trump's inauguration CBC to Trump: Keep Richard Cordray, ensure the protection of American consumers MORE (D-Wis.), who has been a strong supporter of programs aimed at helping low-income families, is among those scheduled to testify. 


Moving Magnitsky: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved a Russian human-rights bill by a unanimous voice vote over some objections from Chairman John KerryJohn KerryFormer Obama officials say Netanyahu turned down secret peace deal: AP How dealmaker Trump can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict John Kerry to teach at Yale on global issues MORE (D-Mass.).

The Sergei Magnitsky bill, named after a whistle-blower who died in a Russian jail, is set to be linked to must-pass trade legislation next month. 

That amendment opposed by Kerry is authored by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and tries to prevent the Obama administration from keeping the names of human-rights abusers secret.
 Kerry had encouraged Cardin to withdraw the amendment.   

After the meeting, Kerry said one of the things he is concerned about is language in the bill that allows the U.S. to sanction human-rights abuses outside of Russia. 

He said the issues would not delay floor consideration for long. 


MBA Mortgage Index: The Mortgage Bankers Association releases its weekly report on mortgage application volume. 

Durable Orders: The Department of Commerce releases its May report that measures the dollar volume of orders, shipments and unfilled orders of durable goods, goods intended to last three or more years. Orders are considered a leading indicator of manufacturing activity, and the market often moves on this report despite the volatility and large revisions that make it a less than perfect indicator.

Pending Home Sales: The National Association of Realtors will release its index for May that gauges contract signings, a forward-looking indicator of home sales. 


— OECD to Washington: Avoid the fiscal cliff

— Consumer confidence wanes again in June

— Home prices slow losses

Catch us on Twitter: @VickoftheHill, @peteschroeder, @elwasson and @berniebecker3

Tips and feedback, vneedham@thehill.com