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Surprise Wisconsin Republicans Break Filibuster M.P. King, Wisconsin State Journal / AP Photo

Wisconsin Republicans Break Filibuster

Now all eyes are on the Wisconsin Democrats: State Assembly Republicans managed to break the Democrats’ filibuster by launching a seconds-fast early morning vote Friday. Debate over the bill, which would do away with public workers unions’ right to collectively bargain, had dragged on for 60 hours, and filibustering Democrats were still waiting to speak at 1 a.m., when the speaker opened the roll and closed it within seconds. The Republicans shouted their ayes while the Democrats looked bewildered, and the electronic tally board registered 51 ayes and 17 nays, leaving 28 members without a chance to vote. Republicans then filed out of the chamber as the Democrats charged them, waving their fists and shouting “Shame!” and “Cowards!” The bill still has to pass the Senate, whose 14 Democrats are refusing to attend, preventing the bill from coming to a vote.

February 25, 2011 1:12 AM