There are 19 Republican senators and 14 Democratic senators that sit in the Wisconsin state senate. In order to vote, there must be 20 senators present. All 14 Democratic senators (
and supposedly 2 Republicans) are missing. Rumor has it they may have left the state.
TIL: In ‘the old days’, when representatives wanted to block a bill, they would not show up en masse. The idea behind the filibuster then was to prevent this missing in action. By allowing a filibuster, it meant politicians still showed up. But Wisconsin doesn’t have a filibuster. So the only way to block motion on a bill is to have a large block of representatives simply not show up.
Now the fun part is that Walker has ordered the state police to find the senators (great use of limited resources, right?) and bring them in. If the missing senators have indeed left the state, while they will be in contempt, it also means the state police don’t have jurisdiction.
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