Published: Mon, March 23, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Stock market futures tumble as stimulus bill hits roadblock in Congress

Stock market futures tumble as stimulus bill hits roadblock in Congress

Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked procedural votes to advance a almost $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at alleviating some of the economic hardships that the coronavirus pandemic has placed on the American workforce.

The vote to end debate on the massive package failed because 60 votes were needed and no Democrats voted aye, with the final tally 49 to 46.

Tempers frayed as Republicans accused Democrats of obstruction during a national emergency. "The country is burning and your side wants to play political games", Thune said.

"Take a deep breath".

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But Democrats on Monday held up the aid package once again, saying they would not pass the $1.8 trillion bill until they secured stronger worker protections and put restrictions on bailouts for businesses. "We knocked off a bunch of things on the list already and we're closing in on issues", Mnuchin told reporters after exiting Schumer's office.

The loss comes after stock market futures fell overnight Sunday into Monday.

The package will include individual checks for Americans-the exact amount of which have yet to determined, although Republicans originally proposed roughly $1,200 for single people and $2,400 for couples-forgivable loans to small businesses, money for travel industry companies hardest hit and funding for medical facilities. But reports emerged Monday that Democrats are also pushing for the inclusion of measures entirely unrelated to the coronavirus response, including "unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions", "increased fuel emissions standards for airlines", and "expansion of wind and solar tax credits".

Republicans normally hold a slim 53-47 majority in the chamber, short of the 60 votes they need to advance most legislation. Republican Senator Rand Paul said he tested positive for the virus on Sunday, and several others have self-quarantined as a precautionary measure. Republicans only mustered 47 votes in Sunday's procedural vote.

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