Legislation to tighten entry requirements for refugees from Syria and Iraq has stalled in the U.S. Senate after Democratic senators prevented the bill from advancing.
Congressional Republicans have strongly backed the bill, saying tighter measures were needed to ensure Americans’ safety and prevent attacks from radicals or terrorist groups, like Islamic State militants.
The measure has sparked heated debate among the contenders running to succeed President Barack Obama in the White House.
Democrats have called the legislation an attack on people who are fleeing war, and their votes kept the measure from advancing in the Senate on January 20.
However, the House passed the bill by a large margin days after the Islamic State attacks in Paris on November 13.
Washington has offered refuge to far fewer of the millions fleeing war in Syria and Iraq than many of its closest allies in Europe and the Middle East.
Obama announced last year that he would admit 10,000 Syrians.