JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led Legislature dealt a triple defeat Wednesday to a Medicaid expansion plan as Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon continued to travel the state trying to rally support for an enlarged health-care program for lower-income adults.

In successive party-line votes, the Senate Appropriations Committee defeated legislation authorizing a Medicaid expansion after listening to more than two dozen witnesses in favor of it. Then the House Budget Committee defeated two amendments that would have added the Medicaid expansion to the next state budget.

The votes marked the third, fourth and fifth times within the past several weeks that Republican lawmakers have rejected the Medicaid expansion called for under President Barack Obama's health care law. But Wednesday's votes came with a bit of an exclamation mark, because they occurred on the same day Nixon was holding press conferences in support of the expansion in the rural communities of Chillicothe and Farmington.

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