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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans have ignored a White House veto threat and passed a bill to keep interest rates on millions of federal student loans from doubling this summer.

The House approved the bill Friday on a 215-195 vote, despite pressure from conservative groups.

The election-year bill has evolved from a dispute over helping students into a battle between the two parties over how to help families cope with the weak job market and ailing economy.

The White House and most Democrats opposed the $5.9 billion bill because of how Republicans covered the costs: eliminating a preventive health care fund in President Obama's health care law. They say the program mostly benefits women, while Republicans call it a loosely controlled slush fund.

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