College students swarmed Capitol Hill on Tuesday to plead for more financial aid as private lenders made a last push to preserve their endangered role in making federal student loans.
The dueling messages sought to influence potential Senate action this week on a proposal to cut funding to lenders that make federally guaranteed loans and channel tens of billions of dollars in savings to scholarships for needy students.
The proposal is attached to a bill the House approved Sunday that resolves various differences among congressional Democrats over health-care reform. That bill is separate from the comprehensive health legislation President Obama signed into law Tuesday. If the Senate approves the bill without amendment, it also would go to Obama for his signature.