Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that Congress should consider combining reforms to pension contributions with a proposed surface transportation bill that appears stalled in House-Senate negotiations.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Reid said his preference would be for Congress to reach an agreement on transportation funding by itself.
But failing that, Reid said combining an increase in the amount paid for premiums on retirement plans backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporations with the transportation bill that passed the Senate earlier this year would provide enough money for highway funding and extending student loan interest rates that are set to double in July.
“I read your letter of May 31 to President Obama on student loan interest rates, in which you said, ‘in the interest of finding common ground on a way to pay for a one year extension of the current student loans rate we are open to other solutes that we have all supported in the past,'” Reid wrote. “In that spirit, I want to offer another bipartisan proposal that recently passed the Senate with strong support from Republicans.”