Obama hailed the measure, which passed by a vote of 70 to 28, as "an important step forward in putting more Americans back to work as soon as possible," he said.
The draft legislation is the first major Senate bill to be adopted with such strong Republican support since the Congress became bogged down along party lines following Obama's inauguration a year ago.
It comes as many of the president's Democratic allies are increasingly concerned about the stubbornly high rate of unemployment, now at 9.7 percent, as the country battles an economic downturn.
The bill sets out plans to create jobs through projects to build schools, highways and bridges. It also favors projects in the energy sector and offers tax breaks for companies hiring new staff.
To help pay for the outlays, the legislation includes provisions to help the US Internal Revenue Service "detect, deter and discourage offshore tax abuses."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid managed to harness some Republican support by whittling down an initial raft of measures that would have had an 85-billion-dollar price tag, to just four aimed at creating jobs quickly.
"Senate Democrats are serious about putting America back to work," Reid said after the vote on the bill, which he said has the potential to create or save more than one million jobs.
The legislation would provide "an important boost to businesses ... all across the country, and help them hire more workers," the Senate's top Democrat said.
The bill's passage is a balm to Democrats who have worried that high unemployment and other woes could spell trouble for them in November's mid-term elections that will decide who controls the US Congress.
Democrats need at least one Republican vote to carry the day on any piece of legislation, now that they have lost their filibuster-proof 60-40 supermajority.
They need even more Republican support if any of their number defects to vote with the other side, or is absent -- as was the case Wednesday when Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg was out for stomach cancer treatment.
Only one Democrat, centrist Senator Ben Nelson, voted against the measure.
Reid thanked the opposition party members for their support of the bill, following several weeks during which Republicans moved in lockstep to oppose Democratic legislation.
"I am optimistic that this show of bipartisanship signals a renewed spirit of working together to solve our shared challenges," Reid said.
"Today's vote is an important step in our efforts to strengthen the economy this year, and we will work to pass additional important job creation measures as soon as possible."
He added that the central bank is not yet ready to abandon its ultra-low interest rates as it tries to keep a tentative economic recovery on track.
In his semiannual report to Congress, Bernanke said growth would be at a moderate rate and warned that he only saw "the unemployment rate declining slowly over the next few years."
Source: AFP American Edition