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Another $500 million would come from increasing the fees companies pay for the government to insure their pension plans, linking those fees to inflation.

In addition, $1.2 billion would be saved by limiting federal subsidies of Stafford loans to six years for undergraduates.

The White House threatened to veto a House-passed bill extending the lower interest rates because it was paid for by cutting a preventive health care program that Obama helped create. Republicans blocked a Democratic version in the Senate paid for by boosting taxes on owners of some privately held corporations.

Congressional leaders are discussing combining the student loan bill with the highway legislation. Any extra funds raised by the student loan measure could help pay for the highway legislation.

The last long-term transportation bill expired in 2009. Congress has kept programs going through a series of nine short-term extensions.

The bill would overhaul transportation programs, giving states more flexibility in how they spend federal money, step up the pace of road construction by shortening environmental reviews, impose new safety regulations and boost funding for a federal loan guarantee program aimed at increasing private investment in highway and other transportation construction projects.

The Senate passed a bipartisan, $109 billion transportation bill in March. House Republicans were unable to pass their own comprehensive transportation bill because of divisions in their party.

Instead, they passed a three-month extension of current programs coupled with controversial provisions that would have required the government to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline and blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the toxic ash created by coal-burning power plants.