U.S. Senate Minority leader Schumer: $1trillion stimulus favours corporate America

Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Sunday blocked legislation that would pump well over $1 trillion into the American economy on programs to help companies losing business during the coronavirus outbreak and unemployed workers.

The measure faltered after it failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to clear a procedural hurdle after days of negotiations.

The bill is Congress’ third effort to blunt the economic toll of a disease that has killed at least 400 people in the United States and sickened more than 33,000, leading governors to order nearly a third of the nation’s population to stay at home and putting much business activity on hold.

The measure envisages financial aid for regular Americans, small businesses and critically affected industries, including airlines.

Democrats had raised objections to the Senate bill throughout the day, with the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, saying it had “many, many problems” and would benefit corporate interests at the expense of hospitals, healthcare workers, cities and states.

The failure of the measure to move forward sends Democrats and Republicans back to the negotiating table.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said earlier on Sunday that Democrats in that chamber will begin crafting an alternative to the Senate bill.