President Clinton is expected to sign the student loan bill by next week.

The Senate passed a compromise version of higher-education spending legislation on a 96-to-0 vote Tuesday, following a voice vote in the House in favor of the same package late Monday. The bill features a 50-basis- point subsidy for lenders that would cushion the blow of a sharp reduction in interest rates on student loans that took effect July 1. Banking industry officials have said they are generally pleased with the final version.

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