JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is calling on the state Senate to pass legislation allowing hundreds of millions of federal dollars to go to unemployed workers and public schools.

Several Republican senators have stalled votes on bills authorizing the use of an estimated $105 million of federal money for extended unemployment benefits, and $189 million of federal stimulus money for schools. The senators say they’re taking a stand against federal spending that is driving up the national debt.

Nixon said Friday the tactic is hurting the unemployed who need money for groceries and utilities, and potentially harming the education of children.

Missouri’s eligibility ends Saturday for a federal program providing an additional 20 weeks of jobless benefits to people who have been out of work for a year and a half.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.