Coronavirus aid package fails on first Senate vote because of Democratic opposition

Senate fails to get 60 yeahs to close debate, start voting

McConnell, Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 22, 2020 - 11:41pm

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The Senate’s $1 trillion-plus coronavirus spending bill failed a preliminary vote Sunday. 

The vote was procedural and was to effectively closed debate on the bill so that voting can start. 

The bill has stalled as Democrats and Republicans disagree over such issues as worker protections and funding for states batting the crisis, according to CNBC.

The GOP-controlled Senate needed yes votes from 60 of its 100 members to proceed.

The vote was 47-47, with Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Kentucky), Rick Scott (Florida), Corey Gardner (Colorado) and Mike Lee and Mitt Romney (both of Utah) were unable to vote because they are quarantined because of the virus. Paul said Sunday that he's infected. The others are self-quarantined for fear of have been exposed to the virus.

It’s unclear whether the chamber will vote again Sunday night. The failed voted could mean additional losses Monday for the financial markets, considering investors had hoped for progress to aid to small businesses, the now-unemployed and others economically impacted by the virus.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had set a Friday deadline for passing the emergency-spending package and has now set a deadline for Monday.