The trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus package that would help offset the devastating economic effects of the virus hit a roadblock Sunday night as Democrats blocked a procedural vote on the measure.
They argued the proposed aid package favored corporations over workers and health care providers, sending Republicans back to the negotiating table.
The procedural vote was deadlocked at 47, with five Republicans not in the chamber, including Sen. Rand Paul, who announced Sunday that he has the virus.
The tally was well short of the 60 votes needed to move forward.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had said that the bill — which has grown to as much as $1.8 trillion — includes direct-deposit checks to Americans and expanded unemployment benefits.
But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argued the draft package “significantly cut back our hospitals, our cities, our states, our medical workers and so many others needed in this crisis.”
Earlier Sunday, Schumer said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats would put their own bill forward.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, said he was still hoping for a vote Monday on the proposal.
“It’s still some elbowing and maneuvering for room as you can imagine, but this is a pretty solidly bipartisan proposal agreed to by a lot of rank and file Democrats who were involved in drafting it,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters.
“At some point here, we’ll have to stop and that’ll be the bill we vote on and in my opinion that’ll be tomorrow.”
With Post wires