The House tried to pass the $2,000 payments during a pro forma session on Christmas Eve day, a brief meeting of the chamber where typically only a few members attend. Democrats aimed to approve the measure by unanimous consent, which means any one lawmaker can block it.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., offered the proposal from the House floor, but was blocked because the measure was not approved by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Subsequently, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., attempted to get lawmakers to reconsider aspects of the spending bill related to foreign aid. That move was blocked by Democrats.
The coronavirus economic relief, which comes with a $1.4tn a federal budget attached, was agreed by both sides.
But President Trump said one-off payments to Americans should increase from $600 to $2,000, and foreign aid should be cut.
Without the bill in force, many Americans face an uncertain Christmas.
Unemployment benefits are due to expire on Saturday if the bill is not enacted, and a moratorium on evictions may not be extended.
Legislators could pass a stopgap bill by Monday to prevent a partial government shutdown looming a day later, but this would not include coronavirus aid and President Trump would still have to sign it.News Verifier Media