In a 47-47 vote, Senate Democrats blocked a critical $2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package on Sunday. The move sent futures markets plummeting by over 5%. According to the Washington Examiner, the Democrats have stalled the plan to pass the bill by Monday and send it to the House for a vote.
President Donald Trump and congressional leaders hoped the measure would send a signal that would help stabilize the stock market and U.S. economy amid fears of recession as economic analysts estimate unemployment levels could hit up to an unprecedented 30% in April-June with GDP contracting by 50%, figures not seen since the Great Depression.
Democrats blocked a package that includes direct cash payments averaging around $3,000 per family ($1,000 per adult and $500 per child), as well as an expansion of unemployment benefits and over $850 billion in loans to small businesses and industries directly impacted by the deadly pandemic that has brought the U.S. economy to a grinding halt.
As recently as Saturday, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) was hailing the measure as bipartisan, but Democrats sang a different tune on Sunday, arguing the relief amounted to a "slush fund" for corporations. Republicans blasted the Democrats for playing politics at the expense of American taxpayers.