Following months of negotiations, the US Senate has approved a long-awaited bipartisan infrastructure bill, though analysts feel that the legislation falls short of its promise.
Over a dozen Republicans joined Democrats to back the legislation.
The final vote was 69-30, comfortably surpassing the 60-vote threshold required for most legislation in the 100-seat upper chamber.
The infrastructure bill, despite a political victory for President Joe Biden, is much smaller than the size of what he originally proposed.
Despite that, budget groups argued the administration would most likely have to borrow heavily to fund the projects, pushing up the already ballooning deficit.
In a speech at the White House, Biden said he is happy to mark this “significant milestone” on the road toward making “long-overdue,” “much-needed” investments in basic, hard infrastructure of this nation.
“Clogged arteries at the heart of our economy — they are going to be opened up,” he said.
In late March, Biden unveiled a roughly USD 2-trillion infrastructure plan, but it was harshly criticised by Republican lawmakers, who argued it is not targeted on infrastructure and costs too much.
After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement on a USD 1.2-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, which includes USD 550 billion in new spending on infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, passenger rails, drinking water and wastewater systems.