Just Like That

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In a brief meeting that lasted barely five minutes, Wisconsin Republicans appear to have jammed through the union-busting, anti-collective-bargaining provision that has been the focus of the protests and political turmoil in the state for the past month.

Here, as best we understand it, is what just happened:

The Republican leadership convened a special conference committee late in the day to take up the collective bargaining provision only, separate and apart from the budget bill it was a part of. By a vote of 4-2, the conference committee just approved sending the union-related provisions alone to the floor of each chamber.

And here’s the key part: Because it’s no longer part of a budget bill, the collective bargaining provision can now get a final vote in the Senate with or without the Senate Democrats who fled the state to deny Republicans a quorum. It renders their protest-by-absence moot.

It also throws gas on the political fire Gov. Walker has set. Much more on this tomorrow and as developments warrant.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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