Over at the Corner, Bob Costa has the story:
Madison, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker, who has gained national attention for tangling with public-sector unions, won a key victory early this morning when Republicans in the state assembly passed his budget-repair bill by a vote of 51 to 17. The legislation now heads to the state senate, where Republicans hold a majority, though all 14 Democratic state senators continue to huddle in Illinois, blocking the chamber from reaching its necessary quorum.
“Day after day, assembly Republicans and assembly Democrats showed up and did the jobs they were elected to do,” Walker said in a statement following the vote. “After an unprecedented amount of debate, they continued to do their jobs by casting their votes. Republicans should be commended for their willingness to cast a vote that will fix this budget and future budgets.”
The lower-chamber vote took place after a 61-hour debate. For days, Democratic state representatives attempted to block a vote via an unofficial filibuster, railing nonstop against Walker and his plan. Countless amendments were proposed, only to be shot down. At one point, Democrats even tried to oust Rep. Bill Kramer, the assembly’s GOP speaker pro tempore, who oversaw the fracas. Republicans finally decided to cut off debate an hour after midnight. The vote came lightning fast: Many legislators reportedly had trouble voting before the gavel came down. Four Republicans voted against the bill, and only 13 lawmakers from the state house’s 38-member Democratic caucus voted at all.
Bedlam followed after the vote.
The whole thing is here.