Senate amends Pentagon spending bill to bolster scholarship and fellowships for training in key fields.
Education committee's bill to cut deficit and extend Higher Ed Act would provide extra $2.5 billion to new grant programs.
They argued about numbers. They debated definitions. They challenged each other's "facts."
In lean year for colleges, measure would sustain key programs but provide few increases beyond biomedical research.
Legislation to cut billions in mandatory spending advanced in both chambers.
Republican leaders lack votes, for now, on budget package that would slash $14.3 billion from lenders and students.
To make the case for U.S. aid, higher ed groups tally cost of colleges' Katrina cleanup: over $2 billion.
Lobbyists object to Congressional proposal to use Pell Grant surplus for non-college programs.
Compromise spending bill would keep maximum Pell Grant at $4,050 and freeze most other student aid programs.
22 Republicans vote with Democrats on measure that college groups staunchly opposed, but alternatives are unpleasant.
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