Nightly News | February 28, 2011
>>> as we turn to coverage of news in this country, we return to the standoff between labor unions and the governor of wisconsin . tonight there are some rumblings that a deal over the issue of collective bargaining rights could be in the works, but so far it is just talk. nbc's mike taibbi covering the story tonight in madison . good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. sources say it's moderate republicans in the state senate who, when talking about a compromise or even voting against governor walker's bill. but if that bill is not approved, walker says massive layoffs are unavoidable. 14 senate democrats remain on the other side of the illinois state line, preventing a vote on governor scott walker 's anti-union bill. but as the standoff has stretched out, some republicans have wobbled in their support for walker and his bill. and today president obama re-entered the debate.
>> i don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon.
>> reporter: over the weekend, there was a massive pro-union demonstration in madison , more than 75,000 protesters outside and inside the statehouse. and other coordinated rallies in new york, chicago and washington, d.c. and on yesterday's "meet the press" walker said again he will not budge from his plan to curb the public union's benefits and bargaining rights and repeated his ultimatum.
>> if we do not get these changes and the senate democrats don't come back, we'll be forced to make up the savings in layoffs. that to me is just unacceptable.
>> reporter: wisconsin is not alone in this. today indiana democratic lawmakers remain out of state to prevent a vote on an anti-union bill while ohio's republicans could approve such a bill by wednesday. but madison has been the bellwether. even though the impromptu protesters' village that has occupied the statehouse for nearly two weeks was slowly dismantled, the peaceful nature of these extended protests, backed by the stubborn holdout of those senate democrats had this assemblyman saying what the math says is still unlikely.
>> we are winning.
>> reporter: well, governor walker delivers his budget message tomorrow afternoon at 4:00. he says if his bill is not voted on or approved by then, as many as 1500 state workers will get layoff notices starting this week.
>> mike taibbi in wisconsin, thanks.