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In Washington, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issuing an angry statement in support of union interests, decrying partisanship.

“This is a blatant attempt by Michigan Republicans to assault the collective bargaining process and undermine the standard of living it has helped foster,” Mr. Reid said. “This effort continues a dangerous trend set by Republican-led state legislatures across the nation, and it is another instance of the tea party needlessly sowing division and setting Republicans’ economic agenda.

“Elected officials, labor leaders and business leaders can and should work towards the common goals of job-creation, improving our economy and strengthening middle-class families,” said Mr. Reid. “But this partisan power grab is a setback to prospects for compromise.”

Andrea Billups contributed to this report from Detroit.