U.S. $2-Trillion Stimulus Package Stalls In Senate

In the U.S., Senate Democrats on Sunday evening blocked action on a $2-trillion government economic stimulus package they said failed to adequately protect workers or impose strict enough restrictions on bailed-out businesses.

The failure to pass the stimulus bill sent U.S. markets reeling in pre-market trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was both down and up by 500 points in early trading Monday.

The party-line vote in the Senate was a setback after three days of fast-paced negotiations between senators and administration officials to reach a bipartisan compromise on legislation that is expected to be the largest economic stimulus package in American history — now expected to cost $1.8 trillion or more.

In a 47-to-47 vote, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes that would have been needed to advance the measure, even as talks continued behind the scenes between Democrats and the White House to salvage a compromise. The failure threatened an ambitious timeline set by the Trump administration and leading Republicans to move the rescue package through the Senate on Monday and enact it within days.

In voting to block action, Democrats risked a political backlash if they are seen as obstructing progress on a measure that is widely regarded as crucial to aid desperate Americans and prop up a flagging economy.

Negotiations between all political sides continued Sunday night and a new vote on the stimulus package is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Monday.