JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A constitutional deadline is looming over the General Assembly to pass a budget by the end of this week but before that, senators must renew a multi-billion-dollar tax.

After a 41-hour standstill last week, the Senate adjourned just 30 minutes after going into session on Monday without making any progress. Then, on Tuesday, members spent the day debating a handful of bills, but none of them included the $50-plus-billion spending plan or the federal reimbursement allowance.

“We’re coming down to the end and tempers are a little bit short and last week we were held here for over 40 hours for basically what I would consider nothing,” Senate Majority Leader Cindy O’Laughlin, R-Shelbina, said.

The General Assembly has only missed a budget deadline once, and that was in the 90s.

Between last week’s standstill and an ultimatum from members of the Freedom Caucus, a key piece of Medicaid funding and the state’s budget are in jeopardy.

“When you balance your budget at home, you have an idea of what your limits are going to be and it’s fiscally irresponsible to pass a budget before an FRA gets done,” Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, said.

Another day passes in the Senate and yet there is no discussion of the budget or the federal reimbursement allowance (FRA). It was thought that by now, the upper chamber would have renewed the FRA, a tax paid for by medical providers like hospitals that brings in $4.5 billion for the state’s Medicaid program.

Instead of debating the FRA, Freedom Caucus members have stood up multiple times, demanding the governor sign the defund Planned Parenthood bill and the body take up and pass the initiative petition legislation first, putting the General Assembly up against a tight deadline.

“The idea though that I’m going to let the FRA go, that I’m going to let it go when the governor can’t find time in his day to sign a Planned Parenthood defund bill,” Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, said on the floor Monday.

The initiative petition legislation would increase the threshold of votes needed to approve a constitutional referendum. The disagreement over the legislation comes with so-called ballot candy that would ask voters questions that are already state law, like if U.S. citizens should be allowed to vote.

The governor said he’s going to sign the bill to bar abortion providers and their affiliates, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving Medicaid reimbursements on his own time once it goes through the review process.

“Number one, I’m probably the most pro-life governor that we’ve ever had, so I guess the question being why would we think we wouldn’t sign the bill? But it’s got to go through the process like every other bill,” Parson said. “We haven’t even looked at it yet to see.”

Other Senate Republicans and Democrats say the passage of the FRA is vital before debating the state’s $50-billion spending plan.

“How can you balance a budget, which we’re constitutionally obligated to do, that we do every year, by the way,” Rizzo said. “How can you balance a budget without knowing if a $4.5 billion hole is in it or not? I don’t know any family that sits down and goes and spends money without knowing if the next paycheck is coming.”

Many in the statehouse are concerned with each passing minute, the General Assembly is closer to a special session.

“We’re working very diligently with House Leadership, the budget chair and all the members to make sure that doesn’t happen, but it is something that we’re worried about and something that could happen,” House Majority Leader Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, said.

Because of the tight constitutional deadline, senators and House members will forgo sitting down to negotiate differences and instead, it will be left up to the budget chairs in each committee.

“We’re pretty committed to not having to do that,” O’Laughlin said. “I think that’s an unnecessary use of taxpayer money for all us to come back and do something that we feel like we can get done now.”

O’Laughlin said the plan is for the Senate to come in Wednesday, debate and pass the FRA and the budget and then bring up the initiative petition legislation, which Democrats have said they will stand up and oppose.