Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate committee ignores Trump, House budgets in favor of 2017 funding levels Live coverage: Trump's FBI nominee questioned by senators AT&T, senators spar over customers' right to sue MORE (D-Vt.) called the GOP amendment a “weak and counter productive alternative” that didn’t go through regular order in the committee and "undermines law enforcement."

Red-state Democratic Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (Alaska), Joe Donnelley (Ind.), Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE (N.C.), Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampRegulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Why governors hold power in the battle for GOP healthcare votes Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (N.D.), Jon TesterJon TesterVulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems Democrats go in for the kill on ObamaCare repeal MORE (Mont.), Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillPentagon to address M spent on untested Afghan camouflage: report Federal Election Commission must not shy away from Russia probe Senate Dems warn potential Missouri GOP recruit with opposition research dump MORE (Mo.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuCNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' CNN's Van Jones: O'Keefe Russia 'nothingburger' video 'a hoax' Trump posts O'Keefe videos on Instagram MORE (La.) and Max BaucusMax BaucusOPINION | On Trump-Russia probe, don’t underestimate Sen. Chuck Grassley Lawmakers: Leave advertising tax break alone GOP: FBI firing won't slow agenda MORE (Mont.) supported the GOP amendment, but it still didn't overcome the 60-vote threshold.

ADVERTISEMENT
Some GOP senators have said the Senate bill goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun-owners.

“The government should not punish or harass law-abiding citizens in the exercise of their Second Amendment rights,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellWe can't let Trump pack the court with radicals Judd Gregg: For Trump, reaching out would pay off Congressional GOP struggles for a win as recess looms MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday morning.

Sens. Grassley, Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamWeek ahead: Senate defense bill faces delay Week ahead: Uncertainty surrounds ObamaCare repeal vote Trump's DOJ gears up for crackdown on marijuana MORE (R-S.C.) and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzGOP wrestles with soaring deductibles in healthcare bill Cruz: Tax reform chances ‘drop significantly’ if healthcare fails Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis MORE’s (R-Texas) alternative would have increased resources to prosecute violators of gun laws, criminalized straw purchasing and trafficking, increased school safety funding, and would have allowed interstate sale of firearms and transportation of firearms. 

“In my view the approach of the federal government to violent crime should be very simple, it should be focused on stopping violent criminals,” Cruz said ahead of the vote. “[S. 649] doesn’t target violent criminals, it targets law abiding citizens.”

Their bill also would have created a task force, funded through an Asset Forfeiture Fund, to prosecute those who fail criminal background checks.

Graham said that out of 80,000 people who failed the background check last year, the Department of Justice only prosecuted 44. He said DOJ should at least go after criminals “dumb enough” to try to get a gun.

The Senate was scheduled to vote on nine amendments Wednesday, all of which were subject to a 60-vote threshold. More amendment agreements are possible later this week or next.