Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked legislation from the House that would crack down on the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States.

The 55-43 vote came after Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidNevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Lobbying world MORE (D-Nev.) sought approval of a handful of amendments, including one on Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE's push to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

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Republicans ripped the attempt to link the bill to the GOP presidential candidate. Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynRising crime rejuvenates gun control debate on campaign trail Bipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua Bipartisan Senate group announces infrastructure deal MORE (R-Texas) called the effort “ridiculous” and said Democrats were trivializing the refugee issue “by bringing the circus to town on the floor of the Senate.”

"I hate to see the Democratic leader try to trivialize this very important national security debate and discussion by injecting presidential election politics right in the middle of this," Cornyn said.

Democrats fired back, suggesting GOP leaders rejected Reid's deal because they were afraid of taking on their party’s presidential front-runner.

"When we offer them a chance to vote on another statement by Republican presidential nominee Mr. Trump ... they run like scalded cats," Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Ex-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Trump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says MORE (D-Ill.) said. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Democratic tensions will only get worse as left loses patience McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats Socially-distanced 'action figure' photo of G7 leaders goes viral MORE (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, missed the vote, as did Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamProgressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema GOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Lindsey Graham: Dismissal of Wuhan lab leak theory cost Trump 2020 election MORE (R-S.C.).

The refugee legislation, which passed the House late last year, would "pause" the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the U.S. until the Obama administration certifies that they aren't a national security threat. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.

President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanZaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Senators back in session after late-night hold-up MORE (R-Wis.) slammed Senate Democrats, calling their decision to block the legislation "irresponsible."

"Our approach balances security and compassion, and it was backed by a veto-proof majority in the House," he said.

Fighting over refugee resettlement has intensified amid rising fears about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Some worry the terrorist group could use the program to slip fighters into the U.S. and carry out attacks on American soil like the carnage the group unleashed in Paris last year. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhat the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) had suggested that senators shouldn't put a limit on amendments to the refugee legislation and that the onus was on Democrats to allow the votes.

"A better way to go forward would be to go to the bill, have an open amendment process, alternate from side to side. Senators should vote to go to the legislation," McConnell told reporters. 

But Durbin said McConnell's counteroffer wouldn’t guarantee the amendment votes Democrats were seeking.

"Sen. McConnell is a pro and is experienced, and he knows that any single senator could object to going to a roll call vote on any amendment," Durbin said.

Reid called the bill "just another step in the absolute wrong direction, the direction of Donald Trump." 

Republican senators had planned to offer amendments to the bill that would give governors the ability to reject refugees and require the Obama administration to include social media in refugee background checks.

GOP senators were also planning to try to make Democrats take politically sensitive votes.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R-Texas), who is running for president, said that he was planning to offer an amendment that would increase jail time for undocumented immigrants who reenter the country illegally. 

Known as "Kate's Law," the legislation is named after Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco. The suspect in her slaying is an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. 

Even if Democrats had allowed Republicans to add the provisions, they could have blocked McConnell from ending debate on the bill.

The House legislation has underscored divisions among Senate Republicans over how to make the refugee resettlement process more secure.  

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) said that while he doesn't support a "pause" of refugee acceptance, he backs moving forward with the legislation so that he could try to amend it.  

"I'm not a fan of this approach," Flake told reporters, adding that he planned to offer amendments to loosen new visa restrictions for dual nationals that were included in last months' government spending bill. 

Some conservative Republicans, on the other hand, argue the refugee bill doesn’t go far enough. 

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMedia leaders to meet with Garland to discuss leak investigations Trump DOJ subpoenaed Apple for records of White House lawyer: report Pelosi: Trump DOJ seizure of House Democrats' data ' goes even beyond Richard Nixon' MORE (R-Ala.) suggested late last year that the House bill would allow Obama to bring in as many refugees as he wants, adding that it "fails to defend" American interests. 

Updated at 5:31 p.m.