Wisconsin's assembly approved a controversial bill stripping public sector workers of collective bargaining rights early Friday morning after a grueling 61-hour debate. Just after 1am, Republicans abruptly cut off debate and announced a voice vote. Chaos erupted—Republicans shouted their ayes, Democrats booed, and within seconds the electronic vote system had closed the voting at 51-17—leaving 28 lawmakers, including 25 Democrats, with no recorded vote.
Democrats went wild, throwing papers and even a drink into the air, and screaming “Shame! Shame! Shame!” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “Cowards all! You’re all cowards!” shouted one Rep. Several Democrats told Talking Points Memo that they believe the vote was illegal. Some Republicans were led out of the chamber under police protection. “The Democrats were clearly stalling,” says one Rep. The measure now goes to the Senate, where 14 Democrats are still refusing to show up. Click for the latest on Wisconsin. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)