Senate Republicans block an effort by Democrats to reverse the Supreme Court's decision on the Obamacare contraception mandate.
Supporters called it the "Not My Boss' Business Act" -- legislation that would require for-profit companies to cover everything required by the health care law.
The bill failed to move forward by two votes. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed his vote in a procedural move which allows Democrats to reintroduce it later this year.
Washington Democrat Patty Murray drafted the bill after the high court ruled some companies with religious objections may opt-out of contraception coverage for employees.
“No CEO or corporation can come between you and your guaranteed access to health care, period,” Murray said from the Senate floor.
Texas Republican Ted Cruz called the measure an election year attack on religious freedom.
“Faith fines should have no place in American society,” said Cruz.
Utah Republican Orrin Hatch spoke to reporters just before Wednesday's vote.
“Its amazing to me that the Democrats want to make a public issue of this and do it for political purposes, taking on one of the most important principles in American life, and that is religious liberty,” he said.