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Kansas Congressional Republicans Call On Gov. Kelly To End Federal Unemployment Early

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All five Republican members of Kansas’ Congressional delegation sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly this week urging her to halt the extended federal unemployment benefits.

Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall and Reps. Jake LaTurner, Tracey Mann and Ron Estes say the $300 a week payment is discouraging Kansans from returning to work, though recent studies do not support that claim.

Marshall told KCUR’s Up to Date that people earning both federal and Kansas payments make the equivalent of $20 an hour, leaving many businesses unable to attract employees.

“The number one concern right now for the economy is getting people to come back to work,” he said. “And they say that this is the number one impediment is that we're paying people $20 an hour.”

The Kansas GOP delegation says in its letter to Kelly that the must “end the federal incentive to stay home so that we can truly reopen the economy.”

Kelly’s office said in a statement last week that she does not intend to end the federal benefits early, but will “monitor this situation closely over the coming months.”

Unemployment benefits were set to end in March but have been extended until September.

Several states, including Missouri, are ending the extended benefits early.

Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.