House committee approves education appropriations bill, with increased funding for Pell and other programs left intact.
Measure would bolster Pell Grants and cut interest rates by cutting lender subsidies gains; questions raised about Sallie Mae deal.
Congress takes up key bills for colleges and students, with action on student aid legislation looming in Senate.
As Senate takes up massive student aid bill, close vote is expected on amendment that would ease cuts in subsidies for loan companies.
With backers of budget bill framing choice starkly, lawmakers reject measure that would have softened cuts to loan providers.
Higher Education Act bill that would reshape student loan programs passes 95-0. But some aid experts question how much major elements would really help students.
Congressional leaders, after little consultation with GOP, offer budget bill that would boost Pell Grants and slash lender payments; Bush veto considered unlikely.
Bush's decision not to veto compromise budget bill means students will see more aid and interest rate reduction, and lenders will suffer large cuts in federal payments.
Just-passed law creates new federal categories (and provides new funds) for "predominantly black," Asian and Native American institutions, avoiding conflict inherent in previous proposals.
Congressional compromise would lift maximum grant by $125 more than $490 rise approved in budget act; NIH would receive $30 billion. Bush veto likely.
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