The US Congress has passed a landmark $1tn (£741bn) infrastructure spending package, delivering a major domestic win to President Joe Biden.

Negotiations over the sweeping public works bill – which passed the House of Representatives with 228-206 vote – created a bitter split among Democrats.

Meanwhile the House is moving forward with a more ambitious social spending bill favoured by liberal lawmakers.

The infrastructure package now heads to Mr Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

Billed as a “once-in-a-generation” spending measure, the infrastructure legislation proposes $550bn in direct federal expenditure to upgrade highways, roads and bridges, as well as to modernise city transit systems and passenger rail networks.

The agreement also sets aside funding for clean energy, clean drinking water and high speed internet.

Three months ago, 19 Republicans joined with Democrats to approve the legislation in the evenly split Senate, a rare bipartisan feat in an increasingly divided Congress.

But more liberal lawmakers in the House balked at the final version of the bill, complaining that key liberal policies had been dropped in exchange for the bipartisan win.

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus pledged they would not support the infrastructure bill until they had voted on a separate social welfare bill that allocates money for healthcare, education and climate change initiatives.

Democrats control both chambers of Congress by very slim majorities, so near-universal support is required for passage of both bills.

The social spending bill is slated to pass through a procedural measure known as budget reconciliation, meaning it requires only a simple majority in each chamber to pass.

But centrist Democrats continue to object to the size and scope of the sprawling bill. They are insisting on seeing full accounting of its economic impacts, a process which could take weeks.

On Friday House leaders brokered a compromise, insisting on a vote on the infrastructure bill accompanied by a procedural vote to start debate on the social spending bill.

[Read More…]