Oklahoma City – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma labor group representatives want the state's two U.S. senators to end their opposition to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for laid-off workers.
Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn joined other Republicans last week in opposing an extension of unemployment benefits as part of a larger tax and spending package, citing concerns about adding to the budget deficit.
Senate Democrats now want to combine in one bill the unemployment benefits with an extension of a popular tax credit for people who buy new homes.
Tim O'Connor, the president of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, said Wednesday Coburn is "holding unemployed workers hostage" with his vote.
A spokesman for Coburn and a spokeswoman for Inhofe didn't immediately return e-mail messages seeking comment.