McConnell: Highway bill may be coupled with student loans

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McConnell Democratic counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), said Tuesday in a news conference of his own that the highway funding and student loan provisions could end up moving in the same legislative vehicle.

"We basically have the student loan issue worked out," Reid said. "The next question is, what do we put it on to make sure we can complete it? There are a number of suspects we have, but right now, we don't have that worked out yet."

Reid said lawmakers had to reach an agreement on the transportation funding measure quickly if they hoped to have it approved by both chambers ahead of a scheduled June 30 expiration of the current funding mechanism for road and transit projects.

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

Asked about the possibility of the student loan and transportation funding issues being combined on Tuesday, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said "[W]e’ll see what the Senate comes up with."