Senate and House negotiators have struck a deal to combine the transportation reauthorization, student loan bill and flood insurance legislation in a package expected to pass by the end of the week, according to congressional sources.
The package likely represents the last significant burst of legislating before the election, as lawmakers will become increasingly preoccupied by message votes and electioneering in the weeks ahead.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told reporters on Wednesday afternoon details of the deal would emerge later in the evening, just in time to meet a deadline to allow House lawmakers to vote on it Friday before leaving for the July 4 recess.
Lawmakers could not finish drafting the bill in time to post it online by 12 a.m. Thursday, which means House GOP leaders will either have to waive the three-day rule for reviewing legislation before a vote or delay passage until Saturday.
A senior aide familiar with the negotiations said the bill would be posted sometime after 1 a.m. Thursday and lawmakers on the conference committee would sign it later in the morning.
The legislation would maintain transportation funding at current levels through the end of fiscal 2014. It would also extend federal subsidies for college student loans. Rates for Stafford loans were due to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 at the end of the month without congressional action.