Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked legislation 55-43 that would crack down on the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sought approval of a handful of amendments to the legislation, including one on Donald Trump's push to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.
Republicans ripped the attempt to link the bill to the GOP presidential front-runner.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) called the effort "ridiculous" and said Democrats were trivializing the refugee issue "by bringing the circus to town on the floor of the Senate."
The refugee legislation, which passed the House late last year, would "pause" the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the U.S. until the Obama administration certifies that they aren't a national security threat. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) slammed Senate Democrats, calling their decision to block the legislation "irresponsible."
"Our approach balances security and compassion, and it was backed by a veto-proof majority in the House," he said.
News Edited By: Kanwal Abidi *Political Analyst & Journalist
063 News (Global Press Agency)