Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) echoed Coburn, calling the proposed body a vast violation of states’ rights.

“This is the most massive encroachment on states' rights I have ever seen in this body,” she said.

But Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), the author of the amendment, defended his $5 million proposed commission, saying it would only gather advice on how to repair the nation’s criminal justice system, without forcing states to take action.

"This is not an encroachment, it actually convenes the best minds to gets recommendations,” he said. 

The amendment was subject to a 60-vote affirmitive threshold and sank, 57-43.