Early this morning, the Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights. After debating for more than 60 hours straight, Republicans shut down the debate and called a surprise vote. BAM — just like that.
This is the first big action on fulfilling Republican Governor Scott Walker’s master plan of so-called budget repair. The measure now goes to the Senate, where minority Democrats have been missing for a week, preventing a vote in that chamber.
Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer opened the roll and closed the seemingly never-ending debate within seconds. Democrats looked around as if the rug had been pulled out from under them. Only 13 of the 38 Democratic members managed to vote in time. At that point, the Dems got up, chanting "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and “Cowards!” as Republicans filed out of the room.
Slate.com reporter and MSNBC contributor Dave Weigel posted this video of the chaotic scene.