But floor manager for the underlying appropriations legislation, Sen. Barbara Milkuski (D-Md.), said opening the borders to Canadian-made drugs could endanger American consumers.

"You don’t know that what you are taking has been made in Canada or approved from Canada or that that it comes from a real website or from a legitimate pharmacy," she argued Thursday. "We could be importing death. I am not trying to being dramatic."

The amendment, which went down 45-55, needed 60 votes to proceed.