Cornyn said his amendment would have allowed citizens issued conceal and carry licenses in their home states to have their firearm legally in other states. He said it would “treat conceal and carry licenses like a drivers license.”

Sens. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska Senate race sees cash surge in final stretch Alaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary MORE (Alaska), Joe Donnelley (Ind.), Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganInfighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms MORE (N.C.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampJoe Manchin's secret Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda Effective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests MORE (N.D.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure MORE (Mont.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure MORE (W.Va.), Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorBottom line Everybody wants Joe Manchin Cotton glides to reelection in Arkansas MORE (Ark.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichSenate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote A plan to address the growing orphaned wells crisis Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (N.M.), Mark UdallMark Emery UdallKennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE (Colo.), Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Defense: Milley reportedly warned Trump against Iran strikes | Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan | 70 percent of active-duty military at least partially vaccinated Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Senate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin MORE (N.M.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (Va.) and Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusCryptocurrency industry lobbies Washington for 'regulatory clarity' Bottom line Bottom line MORE (Mont.) were the red-state and Western Democrats who supported Cornyn's amendment. GOP Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (Ill.) voted against the amendment.

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Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezLobbying world This week: Congress starts summer sprint The Innovation and Competition Act is progressive policy MORE (D-N.J.) criticized Cornyn’s amendment, saying it would turn a “positive” conversation about protecting the nation’s children into a “feather” in the cap of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“The amendment is basically mandatory conceal and carry reciprocity,” Menendez said. “This amendment forces states to accept other states’ conceal and carry permits. … So much for states’ rights.”

The Senate is considering the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, S.649, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on gun trafficking and beef up security in schools. 

GOP senators have vowed to block that bill, claiming it goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun-owners.

“We should not be making it harder for law abiding citizens to execute their rights,” Cornyn said ahead of his vote Wednesday.

Cornyn said that those supporting stricter background checks for gun purchases should also support his amendment because “a conceal and carry license is like a background check on steroids.” But Menendez countered that the amendment could potentially increase gun violence, rather than decrease it.

The Senate was scheduled to vote on nine amendments Wednesday, all of which were subject to a 60-vote threshold. More amendment agreements are possible later this week.