Key vote expected Saturday for Biden's US infrastructure bill

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President Joe Biden's plan for a $1.2 trillion investment in US infrastructure will face a key step in the Senate Saturday to come to the floor for a final vote, before heading to the House of Representatives.

After spending hours on Thursday in talks to try to find consensus for a vote on Saturday, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer finally announced late in the day that he was homing in on his goal.

"I believe we're very close to an agreement and see no reason why we can't complete this important bipartisan bill. So I urge both sides to continue working diligently to make it happen," he said.

"If we come to an agreement yet tonight, which is our preference... we will have additional votes on amendments," which would open the door for a vote, but was still a tough task, he added.

If the bill does make it to the Senate floor on Saturday, it will need to win the backing of at least 10 Republicans, in addition to the 50 Democratic senators, to pass the procedural vote.

It will then be submitted to a final vote by simple majority in the Senate, perhaps on the same day or on Sunday.

If approved, it will then have to be put to a vote in the House of Representatives in the coming weeks to be definitively adopted, and then signed off by the Democratic president.

That would mark a resounding victory in a deeply divided Washington for Biden, a former Senator who touts his ability to reach across the aisle.

The result of a rare consensus between Republican and Democratic senators, the ambitious plan provides for $550 billion in new federal spending on roads, bridges and transport, but also for high-speed internet and efforts to fight climate change.

It totals $1.2 trillion -- the equivalent of Spain's 2020 Gross Domestic Product -- taking into account other public funds that had already been appropriated.

That makes it "the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century," the White House said Thursday.

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