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Austin

Obama signs stop-gap highway, student loan bill

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WASHINGTON (AP)--President Barack Obama has signed a short-term bill that avoids interest rate increases on new loans to millions of college students and maintains jobs on transportation projects across the nation.

Obama signed a one-week extension of the measure to give time for the full legislation, approved Friday by Congress, to reach his desk. The president is expected to sign the full law in the coming days.

The bill allows more than $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs during the next two years. Those projects would have expired Saturday.

And it ends a standoff over student loans, maintaining interest rates of 3.4 percent for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates that would have doubled for new loans beginning on Sunday if Congress hadn't acted.

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