White House, lawmakers strike deal on infrastructure
US President Joe Biden announced he has reached an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on a major infrastructure package, reached after weeks of tense negotiations in Washington(AFP)

US President Joe Biden announced Thursday he has reached a deal with a bipartisan group of senators to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, likely unlocking the most funding for roads, bridges and ports in decades.

"We have a deal," Biden said at the White House, adding on Twitter that a group of five Democrats and five Republicans "has come together and forged an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs."

The president sat down with the lawmakers at the White House to cap weeks of negotiations on Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans have squared off in tense negotiations over the size and scope of the funding.

Biden will deliver remarks on the deal at 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), the White House said.

A breakthrough on a tentative agreement came late Wednesday, with the senators reportedly agreeing on a package of nearly $1 trillion, with some $559 billion in new funding.

"No one got everything they wanted in this package. We all gave some to get some because what we did was put first the needs of our country, centrist Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema said.

"This does represent a historic investment in our country's infrastructure."

But negotiations on infrastructure are not over.

Biden has proposed some $2 trillion in infrastructure spending over eight years, including funding for some of his priorities like climate change mitigation, child care, schools and social services.

Republicans firmly opposed any inclusion of such projects in the deal, saying only hard infrastructure like roads, airports or broadband internet should be included.

But Democratic leaders are insisting that those projects be funded in a second track known as budget reconciliation, which can pass the 100-member Senate with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes necessary to advance major legislation.

"We will not take up a bill in the House until the Senate passes a bipartisan bill and a reconciliation bill," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned earlier Thursday.

That statement drew a thumbs up on Twitter from progressive Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Congressional Democratic leaders have indicated they would like the House and Senate to vote on the infrastructure bills later this summer.