More Syrian and Iraqi refugees could be continuing to enter the U.S. and here’s why AP
Refugees and migrants who have arrived to the shore of the deserted Greek island of Pasas wait for the Coast Guard to transport them to Oinousses island near Chios, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Thousand of migrants and refugees continue to reach Greece's shores despite the winter weather. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Republican lawmakers did not succeed in passing legislation that would block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering into the United States on Wednesday.

Senate Democrats blocked the legislation, which passed in the House. The House legislation would require new FBI background checks and individual sign-offs from three high-ranking federal officials before any refugee from Iraq or Syria would be allowed into the country.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid led the charge against the block, saying that Republicans refused to allow Democrats to offer amendments to the bill.

The Senate fell short of the necessary three-fifths majority to move ahead with the legislation.

The block is likely to garner backlash from Republicans. GOP hopeful Ted Cruz issued a statement shortly after the vote, saying “today, partisan politics prevailed, as Democrats joined to block consideration of a bill that would have taken a modest but important step toward ensuring terrorists do not exploit our nation’s refugee programs.”

GOP front-runner Donald Trump has repeated that if he were to become president, he would impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Yasmeen Alamiri is a political reporter for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @Yalamiri
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