Four Missouri senators offer deal on unemployment benefits

Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, was one of several senators who alled the conference Wednesday to discuss legislation that would extend unemployment benefits in Missouri. 
In the background, from left, are Senators Rob Schaaf and Robert Mayer.

Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, was one of several senators who alled the conference Wednesday to discuss legislation that would extend unemployment benefits in Missouri. In the background, from left, are Senators Rob Schaaf and Robert Mayer. Photo by Julie Smith.

They still think the federal government shouldn’t spend money it doesn’t have.

But four conservative Republican Missouri senators — who’ve been talking against accepting $105 million in federal stimulus money to extend an unemployment benefits program — said Wednesday they’d be willing to stop blocking that proposal.

But only if Gov. Jay Nixon, “out of the $570 million reappropriation of stimulus funds ... takes that down by $300 million,” Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, said. “(It) has just a plethora of different pork barrel and pet projects and really some of the most egregious things when you look at it, as far as what this money is being spent on.”

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The four lawmakers told a news conference they contacted Nixon’s office Monday when they returned to the Capitol from the weekend.

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