House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., left, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, speak about a student loans bill, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has passed a massive measure that will salvage some 2.8 million jobs and shield college students from sharply higher interest rates on college loans. The bill would also shore up the federal flood insurance program.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 74-19. The House passed the bill earlier in the day and it now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.
The bill would spend more than $100 billion on highway and transit programs over two years. The measure would also prevent a doubling of interest rates on new student loans scheduled to go into effect on Sunday.
A requirement that the government approve the contentious Keystone XL pipeline was dropped from the measure.