Cornyn said his amendment would have allowed citizens issued conceal and carry licenses in their home states to have their firearm legally in other states. He said it would “treat conceal and carry licenses like a drivers license.”

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.), 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.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGovernors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare Manchin organizing bipartisan healthcare meeting Tuesday night Moderate Republicans, Dems huddle on healthcare MORE (W.Va.), 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.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichNew legislation tells fourth graders to take a hike Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity The Memo: Five takeaways from Jeff Sessions’s testimony MORE (N.M.), Mark UdallMark UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (Colo.), Tom UdallTom UdallFCC chair: Trump hasn't tried to intervene on Time Warner merger Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Regulation: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule | Labor chief to review overtime rule | Record fine for Google MORE (N.M.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerSusan Rice met with Senate Intelligence Committee as part of Russia probe Dem senator: Pardoning targets of Russia probe would be 'crossing a fundamental line' Juan Williams: Trump's war on U.S. intelligence MORE (Va.) 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.) were the red-state and Western Democrats who supported Cornyn's amendment. GOP Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkMcConnell: Senate to try to repeal ObamaCare next week GOP senator: Not 'appropriate' to repeal ObamaCare without replacement GOP's repeal-only plan quickly collapses in Senate MORE (Ill.) voted against the amendment.

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Sen. Bob MenendezRobert MenendezBipartisan group, Netflix actress back bill for American Latino Museum The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see Taiwan deserves to participate in United Nations MORE (D-N.J.) criticized Cornyn’s amendment, saying it would turn a “positive” conversation about protecting the nation’s children into a “feather” in the cap of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“The amendment is basically mandatory conceal and carry reciprocity,” Menendez said. “This amendment forces states to accept other states’ conceal and carry permits. … So much for states’ rights.”

The Senate is considering the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, S.649, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on gun trafficking and beef up security in schools. 

GOP senators have vowed to block that bill, claiming it goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun-owners.

“We should not be making it harder for law abiding citizens to execute their rights,” Cornyn said ahead of his vote Wednesday.

Cornyn said that those supporting stricter background checks for gun purchases should also support his amendment because “a conceal and carry license is like a background check on steroids.” But Menendez countered that the amendment could potentially increase gun violence, rather than decrease it.

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.