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 ReidTrump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Impeachment will reelect Trump MORE (D-Nev.) sought approval of a handful of amendments, including one on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' 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 CornynTrump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Overnight Health Care: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major 'Medicare for All' hearing 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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle MORE (D-Ill.) said. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' The generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party MORE (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, missed the vote, as did Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally 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 RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate 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 McConnellElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale 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 CruzOcasio-Cortez and Cruz's dialogue shows common ground isn't just for moderates Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists 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 FlakeDemocrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment 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 SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion 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.