Senate fails to advance Republican bill to tackle COVID-19 pandemic


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo: VCG)

A proposal by the Republican Party to tackle the health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic failed to advance in the senate on Thursday.

The vote failed after it fell short of the required mark of 60 after the exercise ended 52 to 47. All the Democrats and one Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted against the bill.

The bill had faced prior opposition from both sides with Democrats worrying that it will spend too little while Republicans feared it will spend too much.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had brought the bill into the House after talks with Democrats had slowed down more than a month ago.

McConnell admitted that the bill did not "contain every idea" that Republicans want but insisted on Wednesday that it was much better than "doing nothing."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the bill for omitting funding for state and local governments, food assistance for children, families evicted from their homes, relief for the travel industry and broadband in rural areas.

The failure is in contrast with the Democrats, who managed advance a $3 trillion-plus plan through the House four months ago.