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Boehner says deal near on highways, student loan

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker John Boehner says bipartisan agreements are near to prevent interest rates on student loans from rising and to revamp the nation’s transportation programs.

The Ohio Republican spoke to reporters Wednesday, a day after the Senate’s Democratic and Republican leaders said they’d reached a compromise that would prevent 3.4 interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans from doubling beginning with new loans starting this Sunday.

Separately, government authority to spend money on highways, bridges and transit systems expires Saturday, as does its ability to levy gasoline and diesel taxes. Congressional leaders have working for months to find a compromise on the transportation measure, but have been stymied by disputes over environmental reviews of highway projects and other issues.

Congress is hoping to leave town for its July 4 recess by week’s end.

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