Democrats in the US Senate have blocked the advancement of a Republican-proposed aid bill worth about $US500 billion ($A686 billion) to help cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus, saying the amount on offer was too limited.
The vote on Thursday was a foregone conclusion but showed both parties are entrenched and a stalemate will drag on.
Democrats passed a $US3.4 trillion bill in the House of Representatives, which has gone nowhere in the Republican-dominated Senate.
Talks between the White House and Democratic politicians to reach a compromise failed.
President Donald Trump took executive action to help those suffering because of the economic slowdown but the reach will be limited and slow to roll out.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, called the Republican bill "emaciated" as she is still holding out for more aid.
"Let's not have a skinny bill when we have a massive problem," she told reporters.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said the Democrats would have to explain why they opposed getting any relief into people's pockets.
"They should stand up and tell the American people which part of the proposal... they are actually against," the Republican said on the Senate floor.
The bill needed 60 votes to advance in the 100-member Senate.
The Democrats voted as a bloc and stopped the bill.
Congress already passed relief bills worth nearly $US3 trillion since March.
A key sticking point is aid to state and local governments.