SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois’ Republican congressmen are largely defending their party’s decision not to support an extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits.

They say the U.S. Senate bill they rejected called for only a two-month extension, and they think a longer-term solution would be better.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the (Springfield) State Journal-Register that a one-year extension would get the issue “out of political debate.”

Reps. Bobby Shilling and Aaron Schock agreed. Schilling called the Senate’s plan “unworkable.”

And Schock says Congress and President Barack Obama shouldn’t keep “kicking the can down the road.”

But Rep. Tim Johnson says his colleagues are “flat-out wrong.” He says the vote reinforces the idea that Congress “acts like fourth graders.”

House Republicans rejected the extension, then Congress adjourned for the holidays.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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