The Associated Press July 9, 2010, 1:57PM ET

Kirk stands by vote against unemployment benefits

Senate candidate Mark Kirk says he voted against extending jobless benefits because Democrats didn't come up with a way to pay for the benefits without adding to the deficit.

The Republican congressman said Friday that he has often voted to let people continue collecting unemployment past the normal deadline, but he opposed the most recent extension because it would have increased the deficit by $30 billion.

The House approved the extension, but it was blocked in the Senate. That means hundreds of thousands of people are losing the unemployment benefits each week.

Kirk spoke at a news conference in Springfield where he discussed the latest in a series of economic development plans for different regions of the state.

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