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News Now

Washington
Student-loan provisions gets House Senate okay
WASHINGTON (3/29/10)--The House again passed comprehensive health care legislation late last week, and while some small portions of the original House bill have been removed, unrelated portions of the bill that revamped federal student loan programs and eliminated fees paid to private banks to act as intermediaries in student lending remained in the final document. As was reported earlier this week in News Now, the bill does not address private student lending. Rather, the bill redirects funds that would have been paid to private lenders that executed federally funded student loans into a federal direct lending program. Specifically, $61 billion in funds will be used to fund need-based Pell grants for prospective college students. The bill is expected to be signed into law on Tuesday. In other action that took place before the upcoming spring recess, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cancelled a weekend cloture vote on H.R. 4851. That legislation would extend authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and federal unemployment insurance and continue federal subsidies to COBRA health insurance recipients through April 30. Funding for the NFIP, unemployment insurance, and COBRA will lapse until Congress reconvenes on April 12. A vote on H.R. 4851 is now scheduled for that same date. H.R. 4938, which would permit the use of $40 million in previously appropriated funds to extend, among other items, federal government’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program until April 30, has passed both chambers and is currently awaiting President Obama’s signature.
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