JEFFERSON CITY — Republicans in the Missouri Senate are blocking legislation that would let the state receive federal money to extend unemployment benefits for some people.
The state legislation must be approved this week for Missouri to receive $81 million for extended benefits to people out of work for more than 79 weeks.
Senators have considered the legislation Tuesday and Wednesday but have not come to a vote.
Critics say they worry that accepting the money would increase the federal debt.
Republican Sen. Jim Lembke, of St. Louis County, said Missouri should reject the funds to send a message that the federal government should spend less money. Lembke also contended offering extended jobless benefits encourages people to stay unemployed.