Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget measure that would strip most public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights moved forward in the wee hours Friday morning, when Wisconsin Republicans surprised Democrats by abruptly ending debate and passing the bill through the state assembly before Democrats could stop them.
On Friday's live edition of Washington Unplugged, Wisconsin representative Peter Barca, the Democratic leader in the state assembly, gave CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante his impression of what happened.
"It was quite a scene last night in the capitol," Barca said. "[Republicans] trampled on democracy though throughout the day and really throughout this past week."
Barca said he was amazed that Republicans could pass the bill even as thousands protested outside the statehouse. He told Plante, "People are outraged that their governor and other legislators are willing to take away their rights to collectively bargain at every level."
The bill must still pass through the state Senate - a difficult task since all 14 Senate Democrats have left the state, denying Republicans the quorum they need to vote on the bill. Plante asked Barca how long those Democrats can hold out.
"I'm sure after the spectacle that occurred in state assembly last night they're probably very reluctant to come back," Barca responded.
Does Barca think that Walker can win the battle -- one that is likely to define his legacy even though it comes less than three months into his term?
"I think many of the legislators are starting to wake up," he responded. "...We're going to keep up the battle, and if he does win this battle I think don't think he'll win the war. I think public opinion has turned against him. Dramatically."
Watch the interview with Rep. Peter Barca above.