A trillion-dollar Senate proposal to rescue the reeling US economy crashed to defeat Sunday after receiving zero support from Democrats.
Democrats said the Republican proposal failed to sufficiently protect millions of American workers during the coronavirus crisis.
Five Republicans were also absent from the chamber because of virus-related quarantines.
The bill, proposed up to $2 trillion in funding for American families, thousands for shuttered or suffering businesses and the nation’s critically under-equipped hospitals.
But it fell far short despite intense negotiations between Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Senate’s top Democrat Chuck Schumer insisted the bill falls well short of sufficiently protecting US employees, millions of whom are at risk of losing their jobs as the economy comes to a halt while offering a “large corporate bailout with no protections for workers and virtually no oversight.”
The Senate roll call was 47-47, when it needed 60 votes to advance. Five senators are in self-quarantine and did not vote, including Senator Rand Paul, who announced Sunday he has tested positive for the COVID-19 illness.
The shock Senate result heaps major pressure on Congress to come together and greenlight a federal government intervention, likely the largest of its kind in US history, as soon as possible.
It is also likely to have a profound effect on already-traumatized stock markets when they open on Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the Democratic opposition and warned of economic devastation ahead if Congress does not act swiftly.