Wisconsin Assembly Approves Controversial Anti-Union Bill

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.

After a bitter, 61-hour debate that was the longest in living memory, the sleep-starved state Assembly voted in just seconds early Friday to approve a watershed proposal repealing most union bargaining rights held by public workers.

Just after 1 a.m., Republicans cut off debate on Gov. Scott Walker's bill and in pell-mell fashion the body voted 51-17 to pass it. In the confusion, nearly one-third of the body - 28 lawmakers including 25 Democrats, two Republicans and the body's lone independent - did not vote on the bill at all.