Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining

The News Updates is the near month-long standoff in the Wisconsin Legislature over volatile union rights legislation rocketed toward a theatrical finish Thursday after Senate Republicans outmaneuvered their missing Democratic counterpart and pressed from side to side the bill.

The extraordinary turn of events late Wednesday set up an unthinking vote Thursday morning in the Assembly on the measure that would strip nearly all communal bargain rights from most public workers. Once the bill passes the gathering, it heads to Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his name.

Within hours after the Senate passed the bill, a crowd of hundreds of protesters grew to about 7,000 in the Capitol, a crowd as huge as any seen within the building in three weeks of demonstrations.

"The whole world is watching!" protesters shouted as they pressed up in opposition to the heavily guarded entry to the Senate chamber.

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