2 Aug 2021

US senators finalise details of $1 trillion infrastructure plan

2:35 pm on 2 August 2021

US senators have finalised details of a roughly US$1 trillion ($1.44 trillion) plan to invest in roads, bridges, ports, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some predicting passage of the bipartisan legislation later this week.

The US Capitol stands before the senate continues debate on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on 31 July , 2021 in Washington, DC.

The US Capitol as the senate continues debate on a $US1 trillion infrastructure bill. Photo: Getty Images

After weeks of negotiations, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, said she had introduced the bill's text for consideration on the Senate floor, starting a process of considering proposed amendments.

The massive infrastructure package, a goal that has eluded Congress for years, is a top legislative priority for President Joe Biden, who has billed it as the largest such investment in a century.

In a tweet on Sunday (local time), Biden called it "the most important investment in public transit in American history".

Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said the bill included US$550 billion in new spending.

This was expected to go to projects including roads, rail, electric vehicle charging stations and lead water pipe replacements on top of $US450 billion in previously approved funds.

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, told CNN she believed at least 10 Republicans would support the measure, enabling it to clear a 60-vote procedural hurdle.

"My hope is that we'll finish the bill by the end of the week," Collins said, adding that the measure was "good for America".

Individual senators' review of the final text - including detailed provisions to pay for it - will determine whether a sizeable bipartisan majority in the closely divided Senate can hold up.

Senators so far have supported a shell version of the legislation in procedural votes, including a 66-28 margin on Friday that included 16 Republicans.

White House economic adviser Brian Deese talked up the bill before its final provisions were revealed as "badly needed investments in our economy" that could help ease supply bottlenecks that were contributing to inflation.

"It will make it easier to get goods and services flowing. It'll actually lower prices over the long term," Deese said on Fox News on Sunday (local time).

- Reuters