Senate rejects Paul's crackdown on refugees
© Greg Nash

Senators on Thursday rejected a push by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Overnight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses MORE to tie a battle over accepting refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks to an ObamaCare repeal bill. 

Senators voted 10-89 on the amendment from the Kentucky Republican, who is running for president. Sixty votes were needed for the amendment to be adopted. 
 
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Republicans Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee MORE (Wyo.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (Texas), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziRepublican Cynthia Lummis wins Wyoming Senate election Bottom line Chamber of Commerce endorses McSally for reelection MORE (Wyo.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length MORE (Ill.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (Utah), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act: Save jobs and stabilize the aerospace industry Lobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans MORE (Kan.), Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 Next attorney general must embrace marijuana law reforms MORE (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic Bottom line MORE (La.) and Paul supported the amendment. 
 
Paul's amendment would place a "pause" on issuing visas to more than 30 countries that the senator said are "at a high risk for exporting terrorists." 
 
It would also require that individuals from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program to either wait 30 days before coming to the United States or go through enhanced background and security checks, as well as requiring the government to perform additional screening on any admited refugees.
 
"We spend hundreds of billions of dollars defending our country, and yet we cannot truly defend our country unless we defend our border," the Kentucky Republican said ahead of the vote. "I would urge senators who truly do want to defend our country to have increased border security by voting for this amendment." 
 
 
"I hate to say this about my good friend from Kentucky, but this is a bumper sticker kind of amendment. It says to keep us secure, it would stop even tourists from visiting this country for at least 30 days." 
 
Lawmakers have struggled with how to tackle the administration's plan to increase the number of refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. 
 
While House Republicans — and dozens of Democrats — backed legislation that would "pause" the acceptance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees until the administration can certify that they aren't a national security threat, Senate Democrats have vowed to block the legislation in the upper chamber. 
 
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats, along with Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeProfiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare front and center; transition standoff continues MORE (R-Ariz.), have introduced legislation aimed at bolstering the Visa Waiver Program, though Republicans are divided on how far changes to the legislation should go.