After 50 hours of gruelling congressional debate, President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure programme has finally cleared the US Senate.

On Tuesday, the entire Democratic caucus, as well as 19 Republicans, joined forces to pass the $1.2 trillion bill by a margin of 69 votes to 30. It is the largest federal investment in public transport in the country’s history.

Mr Biden hailed the vote as proof of politicians “coming together to do big things, important things, for the American people”.

Some Republicans, however, have voiced concerns over Biden’s plans. Republican Sentator Martha Blackburn has accused the Democrats of “rushing [through] an infrastructure bill that no one has had a chance to read” and Republican Senator Mike Lee has warned: “All is not well with the way we spend money.” Former president Donald Trump has branded the bill “a disgrace”, adding, “it will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favour of this deal.”

The 2,700-page package – which has drawn comparisons to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ – includes plans to modernise the country’s broadband. It also features environmental remediation plans – core to Biden’s climate change agenda, with plans to clean up brownfield sites, fund carbon captures and update power grids to combat extreme weather.

“It contains important provisions to equip us in our fight against climate change and protect our natural environment,” says Quill Robinson, Vice-President of Government Affairs at the American Conservation Coalition. “It’s encouraging to see this piece of legislation make it through an evenly-split Senate in such a bipartisan manner.” 

Next on the sweeping legislation’s journey will be the House of Representatives where Speaker Nancy Pelosi will work hard to shore up her party’s slim majority, with moderate and progressive factions aiming to extract concessions before pledging their support. 

Congress will now be heading into its summer recess, and will not be returning to debates and hearings until September. However, Mrs Pelosi has previously said that she will refuse to take up a floor vote until Biden’s follow-up social spending package – which will cost a humungous $3.5 trillion – is approved by the Senate.